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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - December 20, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa ®h t^ftlnt &*pitta $njeWr Editorial Page Friday, December 20, 1974 Aliens buying Iowa landEither you open up or I m coming in!' GOP image dilemma The appetite of foreign business men for investment in American agriculture is no secret to anyone following business trends. Land-buying ventures have increased in line with the overall doubling of foreign investments to an impressive $14 billion yearly. Rut the interest of European investors in East Iowa acreage went undisclosed until Gazette Farm Editor Al Swegle began assembling the sum of the elusive parts recently. As reported in The Gazette’s banner-headline story last Sunday, several European investors have purchased farmland in Benton and Van Buren counties and transactions are pending in Cedar and Fayette counties. The forthcoming Fayette county deals are especially interesting: three Italian investors planning to buy separate properties of 799, 400 and 258 acres. The 799-acre tract alone will sell for $1,198,500. If foreign investors eyeing Iowa farmland have any characteristic in common (other than big money), it is reticence toward publicity. As Swegle’s research indicated, foreign buyers and would-be non-native home landowners have not exactly rented billboard space to advertise their acquisitions. Curiously, Iowa lav\ encourages the proliferation of dummy ownership records: County recorders cannot compel individuals recording property transfers to list the name or address of owners involved. What’s more, deeds need not be recorded with county recorders to be considered legal in Iowa. California law reportedly is flawed similarly. There is nothing inherently sinister about foreign investment. One item to consider when the scope becomes extensive, though, is that foreign owners could ship all their Iowa production over seas, if they chose, no matter how Americans might feel about the meeting of domestic needs from native land first. It too is not xenophobic to demand, accordingly, that American business— including agriculture — be controlled ultimately by Americans. To relax that goal is to let lapse an important national insurance — knowing that in times of crisis business resources will be used for national benefit Thus the people need 20-20 vision in watching the growth of foreign investments. They are fully entitled to know. without a heavy beating of the bushes, how much of the country’s best farmland is falling under foreign ownership. How to eliminate secrecy in land purchases without seeming unfriendly and discouraging the inflow of foreign monies? Iowa Senator Clark made a fair proposal Monday: Push for federal legislation requiring identification of foreign investors buying farmland in the United States. Clark, a sponsor of the recently-enacted commodity exchange law, said foreign interests should be identified when they buy farmland just as their ownership must be recorded when they purchase contracts on the commodity markets. Would alien wheeler-dealers oppose an end to their invisibility? In light of the care taken to befog some of the East Iowa land deals, one imagines that secrecy is preferred. Yet how would they respond if sizable tracts in their homelands were being acquired by Americans camouflaged by dummy ownership records? The demand then would be for candor by sellers and buyers. In such cases, too. home interests justly would outweigh all others. Little shoppers in limbo Christmas-time wager (friendly, thus legal): If Wilt Chamberlain or James Amess were to holiday shop in Cedar Rapids stores, he would be waited on in about a fourth of the average time it takes little people to win the attention of clerks. Diminutive in this case does not mean grownup Mickey Rooney and Nancy Walker types; they can elbow a swath through any throng of shoppers. It means children — short, usually shy youngsters making their first or second gift-buying expedition without parents. Why do so many otherwise* thoughtful store employes ignore them? Most young People's forum No barrier To the Editor As a person interested in which way I-380 takes north of Cedar Rapids, I can not help but be amused with some of the reasons given by the Hiawatha council as to why the interstate is bad for Hiawatha. For years, across this great nation. water and sewer mains have been put under roads, railroads and even interstates, but in Hiawatha there appears to be some kind of new problem. Fire insurance rates are not likely to be increased due to the interstate, nor would existing services be reduced The same accesses from one side of the tracks to the other would still exist Traffic from Edgewood road to highway 15b is great at present and probably will not decrease even with the development of I 380 A help to the Blairs Ferry road congestion would be to extend Edgewood road due north to intersect highway 150, making this extension the hypotenuse of a traffic triangle and thereby eliminating much traffic from the Hiawatha area There is a legitimate objection to a 22-foot embankment through Hiawatha, however, the highway commission has offered to recess the roadbed. This better alternative has been little publicized Blairs Ferry road could pass over I 380 new shoppers undoubtedly wish they knew Not that all clerking crews here slight child shoppers in favor of more assertive and more visible grownups. Some, notably those in amply staffed stores, grant little people and big folks equal courtesy. But in some of the so-called discount houses, children may wait 29 minutes or more. This isn’t to single out Cedar Rapids as a tough place for youngsters to shop; the problem seems universal. It is so common, in fact, that kid-power advocates should add equal shopping services to their rights-sought list. and the remaining railroad track, thus eliminating a dangerous railroad crossing l^ast. but very important, is the removal of homes and potential loss of tax revenue. As a former resident of Hiawatha for many years. I know that the people of this community have a special kind of pride in their city. I can not help but feel many of the displaced people would have their homes moved and remodeled within the city, offsetting just about any loss in tax revenue Is there anyone who takes the positive side of 1-390 in Hiawatha’* It may be the What’s to advertise? By Rowland Evans and Robert Novak WASHINGTON - Only reluctant sympathy for Mary Louise Smith, chairman of the Republican national committee, and her embattled aides saved the projected $2 million advertising campaign to “rebuild” the shattered Republican party from speedy interment without tears on Dec 8. Conceivably, the whole program, under contract to the Omaha-based advertising firm of Bozell and .Jacobs, may actually bt* carried out as planned, but some members of the party’s executive committee doubt it. “We just couldn’t say no.” one highly skeptical party leader said after Mrs. Smith and her top aide, Edward Mahe. jr., executive director of the national committee, unveiled the highly controversial image-making media program here two weeks ago. “If we had. there might have been resignations by some good people who are totally committed to the party.” But despite the conditional approval given the costly ad campaign, key members of the executive committee are now plotting to have it scrapped — or drastically curtailed — when the full national committee meets in early March. The heart of the criticism of Mrs. Smith’s effort to give the Republican party an attractive new facade through massive advertising over television, radio and in the daily and periodical press is that there is nothing to advertise. “The ‘public relations’ of the Republican party today is being made by President Ford,” one longtime party operative told the closed-door meeting after Mrs. Smith, Mahe and other committee aides, using a brochure of expensive To a go de tunge deighen olde Literary lions pivot in graves Insiphls People are usually more convinced by reasons they dis covered themselves than by those found by others Blaise Pascal By James J. Kilpatrick WASHINGTON — Edwin Newman, the NBG newsman, raises a doleful question in his newly published book, “Strictly Speaking”. Will America be the death of English? Alas, he sees that end approaching. The last census found fewer than 3.(NKI good copy editors in the nation There were only I.KHI grammarians and 422 persons who could spell. This, in a nation of 212 million. By the turn of the century, all the strict * constructionists will be gone — gone the way of the whooping crane — and nothing will remain but six computers programmed in Newspeak. The glorious tongue of Milton and Shakespeare at last will have fallen silent. Who can quarrel with Newman's fore-bodings? The evidence of moribundity is all around us Newman is pained, as every sensitive man must be, at the redundant “3 a rn in the morning.” This past Sunday, the Washington Star-News carried an article by Prof. Andrew Hacker. The piece was reprinted. God save the mark, from Atlantic Monthly, once a bastion of good usage. Hacker, a Phi Beta Kappa, took his master’s at Oxford, his doctorate at Princeton. He was writing about the jury trial of a murder. The shooting occurred, said the professor, “at about 3 a.rn on a warm May morning ” Newman believes, as civilized writers unifomly believe, that pronouns and their antecedents should agree in number. It hardly seems too much to ask At Kansas City on Dec 7. the Democrats city council has not been listening hard enough 1-380 does not have to be as great a barrier as highway 150 now is J. R Madam Route I, Marion Improving schools To the Editor: Concerning the recently defeated school bond issue, I'm sure this was a keen disappointment to many. However, if the new facilities are also going to be vandalized, isn't there some devious route to improve the schools at considerably less cost? I think we all want the best possible for that great majority who are not vandals, although the very ones perpetrating the vandalism arc the very ones who probably need the improved facilities the most About the WI percent majority vote which The Gazette fights so hard to eliminate — aren’t home owners and renters about (MMB? (Jr maybe home owners are even more than WI percent. I suppose The Gazette would say the renter has his rent increased As a beneficiary of social security, $2 per month seems easier to pay than $24 a year And even the $2 — where does that come from? Out of the food budget, where else? Homer P Foster 1231 Elmhurst drive NE adopted a floor amendment to Article Nine of their new charter. The article deals with the National Education and Training Council. The amendment added a sentence saving that the council “shall attempt to reach every young citizen as they enter the electorate at 18 years of age. ” A few graybeards in the press gallery. waiting for the vote to be taken, prayed that someone in the hall — someone, anyone! — would rise with a gently perfecting amendment to the amendment. to make it read, yeccchh, “as he or she enters the electorate.” We waited, of course, in vain. Flying out to Kansas City on Dec. 8. some of us read the New York Times of that morning. Allen Hughes was reviewing the performance of a chamber music group. Barry Tuckwell had excelled in a quintet by Mozart, Walter Trampler in a quintet by Brahms. Mr TuckweU’s performance, said Mr. Hughes, “was the most conspicuous of the two." In that same issue of the Times, on the opposite editorial page. Tom Wicker spoke of the house of representatives, “long the most conservative of the two bodies of congress.” Among I."(NI daily James J. Kilpatrick Hiawatha saga To the Editor: It doesn’t make one bit of difference to me personally where they put 1-380, as long ifs not in MY back yard That s where I keep my ox, and I certainly don’t want him gored We had been house-hunting iii Iowa less than 24 hours in July, INTO, when we were told of the plan to put 1-380 through town, and tailed the highway commission, whirh confirmed that the road would indeed go along the railroad tracks. V\c looked around and said. “They . , . only want the right-of-way along the tracks It seemed reasonable at the time, but we were new then and thought we understood It would contribute greatly to their credibility and public image if the city councils, past and present, would admit that the planned route through Hiawatha has Iwen common knowledge for years (I am told some peoph* are even for it). Perhaps it is possible they were asleep at the switch, instead of being railroaded by a highway commission that grabbed them by their collective throats and tried to put a highway up their tracks Then there is tin* more serious soap* opera aspect to watch while the plot moves glacier-iike through the courts Just what will happen* Will the road ever go north anywhere? If it did go through Hiawatha, would it affect the rate of speed at which we on the west papers, the Times once was the more reputable. Alas, for the Times. As Newman acknowledges, some of the decline of English probably can be attributed to the ascendancy of his own medium In television, words are on the wing; the poor usage vanishes before a critic can fire a shot. My own guess is that permissive schools are chiefly to blame; few teachers require their pupils to diagram sentences or to write weekly themes. Some of the problem lies in an unaccountable blindness. The eye transmits, but the numbed brain does not receive. One is therefore not amazed to read of the lamentable fate of Miss Virginia Warner, who last Sunday launched a nuclear warship. In the vivid depiction of the Washington Post, she “smashed the foil-wrapped champagne bottle on the prow of the frigate with a faultless, two-fisted forehead.” Alas for Virginia, a lively girl. The situation gets worse, not better Vermont Royster, writing in the Wall Street Journal of Dec. 4, reports that journalism students at the University of North Carolina are required to pass a spelling test before graduation. It is a tough test: A student may misspell SBO words out of UNH) and still pass. Thirty-nine percent of the young journalists, even so. are flunking Newman's book is wry. witty, delightful — and inexpressibly sad English was a great language It’s a pity to see it succumb to the polysaturated prose of our own generation ngton Mor SyndltOt* side can get to the main street, to the mobile home lot. the service stations, and the Fireplace Lounge? Should that chalder In* called “Don't Divide My Town in Two. One Hiawatha is Enough"? Will it help or hinder the daily migration of workers as they fly south toward Cedar Rapids and Collins road” Would it — could it — improve the railroad crossing at Blairs Ferry road, a steady source of income to those in the front-end alignment business? Would the kids on motor bikes lose their paths through the weeds along the tracks? And what of kindly Rex Barker'* Where docs one go with tons of smashed cars, neatly stacked one atop the idher? Hiawatha may not turn you on, but keep on tuning in to “As Hiawatha Turns" — slowly, slowly in the wind. as some fellow said Ile wasn’t local but he was nearly as funny Marilyn Bergstrom MHN) Raney street. Hiawatha The Joy of Silence Several months ago, Paperback Supply, Inc., Webster Groves, Mo., mistakenly sent 25 copies of “The Joy of Sex" to a local convent school that had ordered 25 copies of “The Joy of Cooking”. Paperback Supply says it still hasn’t heard a word from the school -Wail Mr*#! Journal Madison Avenue slides, gave their rationale for the rescue operation. Thus, invoking the image of Abraham Lincoln — a proposition seriously advanced at the Dec. 14 meeting — was ridiculed by startled executive committee members. Indeed, Mrs. Smith’s own recital last week of how drastically her party has declined in public esteem gave not the slightest indication of how public relations could cure any of it. Citing statistics from the highly esteemed political-survey arm of Market Opinion Research of Detroit, the party chairman said that a mere 15 percent of all voters who have registered to vote since 1960 call themselves Republicans and only 8 percent regard the party as “honest.” But what Mrs Smith did not tell her bug-eyed audience was the astonishing fact that the wealth of new polling data on which the advertising campaign is supposed to be based has not yet even been compiled. Indeed, Market Opinion Research has not yet completed its research. much less turned any of it over to the national committee. The data used by Mrs. Smith Dec. 8 to show the low estate of the Republican party came I rom earlier, pro-forma political polling done by the Detroit firm, by Dr. George Gallup and others In short, Mrs. Smith committed her party to an initial $156,(NMI fee to Bozell and Jacobs, the first payment on the im- EVANS NOVAK age campaign, before receiving — much less analyzing — the research data on which the campaign is to be based That data from Market Opinion, expected to be ready within two weeks, may well comprise the most thorough study of the Republican party ever attempted. But it seeks to go far deeper than any current election analysis. Yet, Bozell and Jacobs has already assigned about 15 full-time staffers rn its New York office to the job of converting Market Opinion’s research — not yet received — to the public relations “message” it will propose for TV, radio and press advertising In addition to deep concerns about the ability of any public relations "message" to help cure the Republican party’s multiple disease, hardbitten old pros of the party are also bewildered about where the full $2 million for the ad program will come from. Mrs. Smith told the startled executive committee she hoped to raise a whopping $12 million budget for 1975. Most state party leaders doubt that the national committee will get half that much, which is another reason the $2 million ad campaign will be subjected to critical scrutiny when the national committee meets in March PubMih#r$.Holl Syndical# Way with words Verb veers By Theodore M. Bernstein The word predominant, meaning superior or authoritative, is definitely an adjective. It has a niece, predominate, which should tie nothing but a verb But under the influence of the ant the niece has been altered into a similar, if not entirely proper, adjective, and that irritates some people, including Mrs. Elinor M. Kinley of Radnor, Pa It appears in a couple of dictionaries as an adjective, but it is not fully established and the advice here is to forget it. • Questionable questions. In a sentence such as, "How is your sore throat?” there is no doubt that a question mark belongs at its end Hut Florence Rodman of Jenkintown, Pa , wants to know about such sentences as, May we have the pleasure of hearing from you soon.” or ‘Would you please send us a duplicate copy of that invoice ” Maxwell Nurnberg supplies the replies succinctly in his paperback book. Punctuation Pointers”, where he says, We do not use the question mark when we are merely making a request or when we expect no answer.” In the first of the above sentences no answer is expected and in the second the writer is merely making a request. Therefore, use no interrogation mark in either instance • Word oddities, When we speak of punctuation points we are being a little repetitive. The word punctuation derives almost directly from the Latin puncto* meaning — you've guessed it; a point Yoffc Tim#* Syndical* ;

Clippings and Obituaries for the Cedar Rapids Gazette