Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - February 22, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Snooping, prying, dirt-filing under attack
Friday, February 22, 1974
Right-on-red: Barreling ahead, safe to risky
IN SCARCELY more time than it takes to tell of it, a bill has whisked through the Iowa senate (48-1) allowing right turns against red lights at all intersections except where prohibited by signs. The house then tacked on a minor amendment (allowing left turns on red from one-way streets onto others), passed the measure (87-5) and fired it back to the senate.
If reapproved by the senate and signed by the governor, the right-turn-on-red bill will overturn Iowa’s three-year-old law which allows right turns against red signals only at posted intersections.
The idea, then, is to make right turns on red the taken-for-granted rule rather than the closely-monitored exception. Before lawmakers cement this one into the state code, a second look is in order.
While both the present law and the pending statute are aimed at expediting traffic, there are Mutt-and-Jeff differences in safety potential and cost to municipalities.
Under the present setup, signs posted at right-on-red intersections remind motorists that such turns may be made ONLY after stopping and checking for other cars or pedestrians in the turning radius. The new law would give drivers no such reminder, though identical rules would prevail.
Some drivers are zipping past red lights full tilt even when warning signs are present. Does it not follow that the removal of restraints will invite a great deal more careless driving?
Moreover, the theft of a no-turn sign from a restricted intersect urn could lead to tragic consequences. This has not been a problem in Iowa because the absence of a sign means no turn allowed.
Certainly the apparent safety drawback deserves the legislature’s consideration. The cost' kicker in the proposed right-on-red law also merits review .
If a city decides to exempt itself from the law, it must post no-turn signs at every traffic light. In Cedar Rapids the updating job would entail placing no-turn signs at the 70-plus intersections adjudged unsafe for right-on-red movements. Estimated cost: $5,000. That’s not a princely sum, but totaled up border-to-border and coast-to-coast the cost of preserving driving sanity at dangerous intersections could bi* astronomical.
National scope is mentioned here because the right-on-red-if-not-posted law seemingly is taking off on a California-to-Maine romp. Indeed, the system seems to have worked well in California — not surprising since the unusually
rigid pedestrian safety laws there have made Californians more crosswalk conscious than most drivers.
That, however, does not mean the same right-turn law will work well in all the 18 states w hich have followed California’s lead.
Significantly, the National Council of Urban Traffic Engineers vehemently opposes the so-called California system. Two years ago, the council conducted a survey showing that the right-on-red-when-posted system (as adopted here in 1971) was favored in 37 states. In deference to opposition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Council has withdrawn efforts to make the California system a national law.
Nonetheless, Illinois, Minnesota and Nebraska have adopted the right-on-red-if-not-posted law. exerting pressures to conform in neighboring states, including Iowa. A vision comes of lemmings heading thoughtlessly out to sea.
Desire for harmony aside, Iowa lawmakers should rethink this proposal to scrap a sensible, safety-oriented law in favor of a potentially risky one.
The new bill’s sponsors. Sen. William Gluba (D-Davenport) and Sen. George Kinley (D-Des Moines), have cited some valid supportive information—notably the state public safety department’s report that the California system has not increased pedestrian accidents in other states.
We advise that they check further— among city traffic engineers and state highway commission staff, for example. The right-on-red bill shot through the statehouse so quickly that its opponents are just now realizing what happened.
H ANK AARON, heir apparent to Babe Ruths baseball homerun crown, has decided to sit out the Braves’ opening series in Cincinnati, lest his record-tying and surpassing swats occur before the team returns home to Atlanta.
How ironic to program Aaron’s landmark homers to conform with special TV’ coverage and other attendant ballyhoo. This bow to exhibitionism ignores the fact that each of a team’s 182 games is billed as a “National League championship game.”
Should the mediocre Braves suddenly become a pennant contender, they’ll need Hammerin’ Henry’s bat in every game he is able to play. To lose a title because of Aaron’s initial abstention would be the most colossal irony of all.
Way with words
Action’ in reverse
By Theodore M. Bernstein
LABOR lingo. A term that has come into widespread use in the past half a dozen years is /ob action Oddly enough, what it means is not job action, but rather job inaction. It refers to what happens when workers, preferring not to go on strike, make their discontent felt by indulging in a slowdown or by holding union meetings during working hours or by enforcing to Hie letter rules that normally get little attention
Job action is often carried out by workers who are not supposed to strike either because the law forbids their doing so or because public necessity or convenience makes their doing so intolerable.
Credit. The word credit, in l»oth its noun and verb senses, has a variety of meanings ranging from the idea of belief or trust to the notion of a kind of score for the satisfactory completion of a course of study A letter from “T C.” ol Columbus, Ohio, asks about the common meaning underlying half a dozen uses of the word in business contexts, such as dividends credited to an account, a deposit credited
to a final bill or a credit toward the reduction of a debt.
In all these senses the basic idea is a feeling or the evidence of faith or confidence, iii fad. the word comes from the Latin credere, to trust or believe
Another meaning of the word credit is to give deserved praise for something, and this meaning sometimes leads a writer into error. Tor example, it is improper to say that “history credits Richard with the slaying of two young princes and other killings and crimes Give credit only where credit is due
Word oddities. That awnmg-llke structure over the entrance to the movie theater where they sometimes misspell the name of your favorite star is called a marquee. But somebody missjielled thai name, too. It came from the French marquise, which sounds like a plural and some people mistook to In* a plural. I hey assumed that lf the plural was a word pronounced markees, the singular must be one pronounced markee And that is where marquee came from
New York Time* Syndicate
Concern for privacy brings good results
By James J. Kilpatrick
WASHINGTON — In a time of encompassing statism, when government expands at every level, it is seldom that one hears good news about private people in their private lives But cautiously, tentatively, and with all the hedgehog reservations of an old editorial writer, I venture this thought: When it comes to the protection of our privacy, the news is getting better
This wasn’t true six or eight years ago Then the credit reporting bureaus were running their secret empires with all the arrogance and power of Carolingian kings There was much talk of a federal “data bank.”
The computer salesmen, proud of their marvelous new toys, were promoting information retrieval systems of fantastic efficiency, educators, police, army intelligence agents, and civil service examiners were accumulating dossiers on everyone above the age of five.
The picture is far different today. The credit bureaus are operating under legislative restrictions that give the customer a fair shake. Army surveillance, we are assured, has been halted. The* most outrageous “personality inventories’’ have been dropped from federal employment examinations. Awareness is growing everywhere of the Orwellian capability of the computer.
In the current issue of Intellectual Digest, Blare Divoky reports on tile situation in our schools. As far back as 1925, the National Education Association was recommending that health, guidance, and psychological records be maintained on every pupil. In 1941, the influential American Council on Education developed record forms for evaluating a child’s behavior
By 1970, files were bulging with subjective entries: A fifth-grader was “unnaturally interested in girls,” a 12-year-old had "peculiar political ideas." And the maddening thing was that while parents were denied access to these dossiers. any government agent could get at them.
The situation today is far from perfect, but it improves. The Des Moines school board, for one example, has adopted regulations to guarantee parental access.
James J. Kilpatrick
To the Editor:
Safety Commissioner Steinbeck is concerned over the necessity of spending $o,0(Hl for now signs to comply with a change in the state’s "right-turn-on-red”
law May I suggest this is a needless concern?
W hat should bo done is to eliminate the flood for most of the new signs by realizing that tho vast majority of tho 147 signalized intersections should have “right turn on red" allowed as the state intends Thoro are very few intersections \v here such turns should Im- restricted, and this should tx- viewed as a unique opportunity to correct the previous mistake of allowing them at only half of these intersections
Two intersections coming inirmsiiately to mind are Nineteenth street at Mt. Vernon road and Twenty-seventh street at First avenue E. It is riot only irritating hut a waste of scarce gasoline and an increase rn pollution to wait several minutes when a right turn could have been swiftly and safely made. In fact. Twenty-seventh street is so poorly signalized that rigid turns can't be made onto First avenue even while First avenue traffic is turning left into Twenty-seventh street on a green arrow Wait-, of five minutes and more for a green light on Twenty-seventh street an* not uncommon
Bet's save money and gasoline speed traffic arid reduce pollution Don't erect new signs Let s “turn right on reel
Herbert Eckert 5224 Bever avenue SE
To the Editor
Cedar Rapids residents have* once* again responded with hive* anel generosity tins past year for the* worldwide* humanitarian work sponsored by Seventh-day Adventists On Jan. .‘JI 1974, at the* close of our 70th World Service Appeal, which began last fall, total con-Intuitions were* $5,390 91. This was an increase of $819 91 over last year’s con
Oregon and New Mexico have instituted statewide safeguards. New Hampshire now prohibits school records that “reflect the political activities or beliefs of students."
State and federal courts, strengthening f irst Amendment “rights of privacy,” regularly are issuing protective decrees.
As Ms. Divoky’s report makes clear, the war goes on between tin* individual’s privacy and the state's curiosity. California’s record-keeping system for juveniles holds ominous possibilities for abuse.
Florida's centralized computer hanks ar** fearfully efficient on pupils from the ninth grad** up. Iowa and Hawaii reportedly are installing similar systems Generally speaking, however, an awareness is growing of the need for safeguards.
Meanwhile, here in Washington, the justice department last week proposed rules that would impose strict limitations upon access to criminal information collected by state and local police and the FBI. Sen. Sam Ervin (D-N.C ) has introduced legislation that would go beyond these rules rn prov iding criminal penalties for misuse of police records. The senator’s bill has bipartisan support and probably will be approved
A word on the other side: While protection of individual privacy is enormously important, it would be foolish needlessly to handicap police in national law enforcement efforts The police are sufficiently handicapped as it iv In an increasingly mobile society, it makes sense for both lenders and borrowers to have convenient access to reasonable credit records. Data compiled by schools and hospitals, properly safeguarded, can save lives and provide genuine social benefits.
The object ought not to be to cripple government, or bi deny public agencies the technological tools they need The object should be simply to keep Big Brother in his place
Washington Star Syndicate
tnbutions. Cedar Rapids Seventh-day Adventist church members solicited gifts strictly tm a volunteer basis.
The funds gathered will Im* used to meet human needs wherever they exist Whether the problem be in Iowa or Bangladesh, somebody is next door who cares. Emergencies of any kind present a challenge to the church’s community service workers
The Adventists also use the**** funds to sponsor ti 11 tic i children's camps, where blind children can swim, water ski and ride horseback with sometimes greater enthusiasm than sighted youngsters ( 'amps for inner-city youngsters are also sponsored, taking these children away from smog and sidewalks for a week
Last year the money also provided medical assistance to 4,(115.133 persons around the globe. Seventh-day Adventists have missions, schools or hospitals rn 193 countries. The main theme of their work is to present a living, loving Savior who died for all
Our own church members contribute heavily to the World Service Appeal But in a world so full of tragedy and need it takes many different skills to meet the needs of mankind, so w* sincerely welcome the support of our friends and neighbors here in Cedar Rapids May we publicly express our deepest appreciation for their interest arni generosity Surely God will bless them for their kindness
Linda Middleton Route I. Marion Public relations secretary Seventh-dav Adventist Church
To th** Editor
I greatly appreciate >our coverage of my recent talk to th** YWCA health awareness luncheon, under the byline of Miss Ann Schrader Several minor points were raised by the coverage which I feel should Im* corrected
Phone-tap loophole still needs remedy
By Tom Wicker
NEW YORK — Th** Internal Revenue Service's summons for certain records of telephone calls from the Washington bureau of th** New \ ark Times illustrates how a government that is either careless, callous or expansive can stretch what might appear to Im* a harmless or even useful power into something different and threatening
The IRS, it seems has the statutory authority to obtain by civil summons lh** telephone records of persons it is investigating for tax fraud or delinquency. Most telephone companies have been routinely acquiescing in such summonses
But the IRS is not investigating th** Times or any member of its Washington bureau — although th** IRS also issued a summons for, and received, records of long-distance calls placed from the home telephone of David Rosenbaum, one of the Times’ Washington reporters.
Instead, it appears that the IRS may he investigating the possible leak of some information from one or more of its employes to Rosenbaum. Last year he was working on a story — never published — about a possible IRS investigation of a major contributor to Richard Nixon’s re-election campaign.
The point is that lh** statutes in ques-tion do not appear to grant the IRS authority to obtain the Times’ or Rosenbaum’s telephone records for the purpose of maintaining its own internal security Perhaps worse, when first asked about th** matter, Donald C Alexander, commissioner of the IHS, said, “I know nothing of this."
Does that mean that lower-level officials can routinely authorize actions that appear to violate the law and offend the First and Fourth Amendments? Since the IRS, under challenge, has re-
ar** not contacted venereaHy. hut can in*
( old sores are c a bacteria
The third paragraph sour gonorrhea is not disease of th** skin, I *ases of it Lest many afflicted by innocently cold sor**s. scabies and feet ions worry about pointed out that these
should read that predominantly a don’t sec many people who are acquired warts, vaginal yeast iii it, It should Im* diseases usually
Finally, it should Im* stated that it is no longer legally necessary for a physician to inform an underaged minor’s parents of the diagnosis of venereal disease in their child, and if the youth so requests, the doctor need not report this ti* his or her parents
Robert J. Barry, MI), lulu Fifth avenue SF
Why so placid?
To th** Editor
Nine months ago American housewives were indignant because the price of r«**l meat went lip Rallies and boycotts were held against the higher prices, which were caused by nature, not man. After a fall and winter of nothing but mud in most fml lots and farm yards, the wurst blizzard in years added th** final blow Between th** two a lot of potential meat was lost
The President responded to the outcry and put a freeze on prices The packer couldn't realize a profit buying in a market that wasn’t frozen and selling in on** that was, so he didn’t buy. Result, panic. Meat was hoarded and counters were bar**
lh** next step was to wait until live market prices were low and put a ceiling un them. A lot of producers couldn’t turn a profit, so they held out until the end of the freeze, only to have to sell at a hiss anyway t orn prices are so high now that many producers se** no profit in putting the corn through livestock arni ar** going to sell corn Pro es for live animals have dropped, but prices I In* consumer pavs haven’t.
Even with all this interference, th** farmer finally had a giwni year, an*! In* can get that new machinery fit* needs Ila’ The supply of farm equipment can’t meet demand (Onsequently a lot of |K*ople are working a lot of hours to try to meet the demand
Tractor prices are inflated, but the man iii agriculture isn t boycotting lie's glad t** get th** machinery he * an A good year for th** farmer has aided th** economy While some are complaining about $2 meat th** far hut is buying a 11 (MHM tractor to produce the crops to feed th** livestock so there will Im* meat to buy
turned the Times’ records, the agency appears to have at least tacitly conceded that it had no legal right to them.
This stretching of authority into areas ii was not intended to reach is a relatively old story in government. It lends particular point to a measure introduced by Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin that would ban all “warrantless'’ wiretapping and give American citizens a chance to fight back if the government has its electronic eye on them
In 1972, the supreme court in th** socalled Keith case barred warrantless taps for "domestic security.” However, the court did not rule on the question of wiretaps for “foreign intelligence’’ purposes, which meant that th** government could continue warrantless tapping of foreign embassies, agents of foreign governments and th** like.
This left a significant loophole in the Fourth Amendment rights of American citizens, who still could be tapped without a warrant if their activities caused the* government to consider them possible agents or dupes of foreign governments.
Senator Nelson’s bill would close this final loophole, by requiring the government to go into federal court and get a judicial warrant for every wiretap it wanted to install.
ll a tap we're to be requested on the phone of an American citizen, the government would have to show "probable cause” that a crime was about to he committed. If the request was for a tap on. say. a foreign embassy, only a national security reason would have to Im* adduced And any American c itizen tapped alter issuance of a court order would have to Im* informed of the tup within 3(1 days, unless the government obtained a court-ordered delay.
There is no reason to suppose tfiat judges would not issue wiretapping warrants when justified; or that they would thereafter disclose national security information that might have been presented to them.
But there is every reason to believe that the Nelson hill would give needed contemporary meaning to the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee of “the right of th** people to bt* secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures ...”
Ni'a York Timp , Servtc*’
Now there is a fuel shortage. Where is all that indignation0 ... I would like to know why people think the farmer is less deserving of a profit for his long hours and risks than the fuel monopolies that won t even take the risks until they’ve made a g«w»d profit
V\ here ar** ail th** boycott leaders who ate meat substitutes? I susp**ct some ar** out of work, some ar** wearing sweaters and some ar** eating beans, but this time around it s not by choice
Mrs Earl Glandorf Route I, Homestead
To lh** Editor
On behalf of 2. 500 Jehovah’s Witnesses I want to express appreciation to the community ut Cedar Rapids for its hospitality and kindness displayed during • air ministerial assembly at the coliseum last weekend.
We commend The Gazette for its news coverage of the* assembly program. In a world too often characterized by st rib* and animosity we believe that events which teach tin* application o| Christlike love to daily living are indeed newsworthy.
Jehovah’s Witnesses have gone back to their respective communities determined to fulfill the assembly theme
Love one another intensely from th** heart. ’ Our delegates look forward to again convening In th** fin** city of Cedar Rapids,
C F Willard
5839 Vermont street SW t ircuit Su|M*rv isor
Jehovah s Witnesses, Iowa Circ uit No 4
An in evocable purpose
or opinion is almost syn onymous with a foolish one W H Seward