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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - November 11, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa CktftJnf fiapitU G&ytHt Editorial Page Monday, November I J, J 974 S¥»:W«M Election law snags No one who never tried to put in English a desired new structure of law can possibly know how hard it is to write laws that are unmistakably clear in meaning. That statement is premised on the assumption that the authors want the law they write to be clear, understandable and workable Regrettably, there have been, are now and will continue to be some legislators who purposely write law in language so vague that it is virtually unenforceable. But these observations have to do with laws intended to be clear and understood. % That is what the writers of Iowa's absentee ballot law meant it to bt*. But they failed, as Polk county District Judge Wade Clarke tactfully suggested in his recent decision Judge Clarke denied the request of Democratic State Chairman Tom Whitney for an injunction to prohibit Secretary of State Synhorst from advising county auditors to mail absentee ballots to voters in hospitals and health care facilities, upon request. Secretary’ Synhorst, advised by the attorney general’s office, was acting under section 53.8 of the code. Chairman Whitney brought his action under section 53.17. Under section 53.8, auditors are required to mail, within 24 hours, an absentee ballot to any eligible voter requesting one. Section 53.17 provides that absentee ballots shall be hand-delivered to those in hospitals or health care facilities by two notaries public, one from each of the major parties, during the last three working days prior to an election. Obviously, when taken together, the meaning of the two sections is unclear. Patients in hospitals or health care facilities are singled out for special service under section 53.17, but they are not excluded under section 53.8 The need for clarification of Chapter 58 in its entirety was clearly spotlighted just prior to the election by a case in Marshall and Grundy counties. A patient in a health care facility in Marshalltown, who was a resident of Marshall county, applied some time ago for an absentee ballot. Instead of being mailed to him, the ballot was held until three working days prior to the Nov. 5 election. In the attempt to hand-deliver it during that period, officials discovered he had been moved to another facility in neighboring Grundy county. Question: Could the Marshall county notaries deliver the ballot to the applicant in Grundy county? There are no provisions in the law to cover such a circumstance, at least none that state election officials could uncover. So the applicant did not get to vote — even though he had applied for an absentee ballot in ample time to have voted had it been mailed to him as set out in section 53.8 Judge Clarke put his finger on what the 1975 legislature must do when he wrote, on the final page of his decision: “This court is of the opinion that no person should be deprived of his or her vote because election officials have not fully implemented section 53.17 or because the law is uncertain and confusing . . . and in view of the difficulties shown by the evidence in fully implementing the statute, it may be necessary for the legislature to amend or clarify the law to make it workable.” Community center headway Now that 56^ percent of the voters have plainly asserted that a bond-financed new zoo is not among their top priorities for Cedar Rapids, public attention can focus again on a likelier item of civic improvement: The downtown community center proposed as part of a hotel and parking facility package on urban renewal land at First avenue and the Fourth street tracks. The recent final report of the citizens’ study committee, last week’s city council clearance for a Chicago firm’s effort to arrange the financing and a possibility of still another referendum early next year all turn up the front-burner heat on this idea. Several forces in its favor seem to give the community center concept better chances than the zoo’s. All prospects indicate a much smaller property tax levy, if any, to build and support it. The combination with a tax-producing commercial venture (the hotel) offers a rare opportunity to get the job done at minimum expense to the public. A community center s range of usefulness and appeal crosses wider interest lines — with stage facilities for theater and music, an arena for sports and other entertainment, exhibition and convention hall space, versatility in general. A community center’s economic benefits to the city as a whole also are exceptionally strong, besides its cultural rewards. Even though the times are less than glorious and tax-resist-ance habits still thrive, a dream-fulfilling people-center for the city thus could be in hopeful reach. The study committee’s good work has supplied new momentum. Now the city council has a turn to move the ball to scoring distance from the goal. Killing to hunt For M)me probably primitive reason, the excitement of the hunt, with its opportunity to put meat on the family table, soothes and temporarily satisfies a deep restlessness inside me By Jim Fiebig I realize that the following admission invites abuse from all those Disney-indoctrinated souls who think animals are really humans in disguise, but last weekend I shot a deer Fatally I will tell you why I did it, but first, let me tell you why I didn’t do it I didn t do it to beat inflation The venison will probably end up costing me about $3 a pound. And if the cost is calculated to include all the unsuccessful deer hunts I ve experienced, the price per pound would put lofter to shame. I didn t do it to prove my manhood While the clean kill of a deer usually requires a working knowledge of its habits, more than a passing acquaintance with firearms and a willingness to undergo varying degrees of physical exertion — any number of women can and do meet the same requirements I didn t do it because I “like to kill things.” I accept the kill (but do riot revel in it) as an inherent and natural conclusion to the entire hunting process. I do not hunt to kill I kill to hunt If that restlessness is indeed what we call a ‘ primitive urge.” I see no shame in it. Nor should any (me else. After all. the sex drive is also a primitive urge — and where would we be without it? General Feature* Corporation Insights Get action, do things . . . take a place wherever you are end be somebody. Theodore Roosevelt Chinese- By C. I. Sulzberger PABIS — When dealing with intimations of policy as put forth by Moscow and Peking one must lie especially prudent because of their habit of camouflaging real intentions Nevertheless. when something so apparently momentous as the hint of a Sino-Soviet nonaggression pact bursts upon a surprised world, at least some cautious comment is required It has been evident for many weeks that tension between the two great neighbors has subsided and the Chinese have started proclaiming they no longer fear a Russian military invasion Now a Russian-language broadcast from China indicates interest in the Kremlin suggestion of a nonaggression treaty — also stating this must lie accompanied by mutual withdrawal of armed forces There have been other signals deferment of a promised trial of Russian helicopter crewmen seized on Chinese territory and accused of espionage; the closing down of displays of air raid shelters; a conciliatory speech by Kosygin Nov 2. Are these tactical replays of old recordings. or do they imply a new turn in events? Since .lune. 1970. Brezhnev has been proposing a nonaggression pact. The Kremlin presented drafts in .January, 1971. and June, 1973. Even earlier, on Sept. ll, 1909, Kosygin met Chou En-lai at Peking airport and made specific proposals for conciliating their dispute. Chou told me (Oct. 20. 1973) that although Peking regarded the 19th Century territorial treaties with Russia as “unequal.” he was prepared nevertheless to accept them “as a basis" for new negotiations. The argument could be settled “in a rational way” founded on “mutual accommodation and understanding” embodied in a new border agreement. Kosygin endorsed Chou’s three-point formula (I) provisional accord until conclusion of “specific talks on boundary questions;” (2) avoidance of armed clashes and withdrawal of frontier forces; (3) “a new realignment of the boundary which we think would not be a mm People'5 forum Harsh law To the Editor I am writing in protest to the forceful closing of some of Iowa’s finest nursing homes because of our new updated laws that have been passed for the good of our elderly citizens. When is it good for old sick people in their 80s and 90s to be told that you have to move from your home of the last IO to 12 years? Under the new laws, people who have worked in our home for years now have to go back to school and get a diploma saying they know how to care for patients; experience counts for nothing. Cooks who have been preparing healthy, well balanced meals for 15 years have to go back to school and learn to cook. A special dietitian has to be hired. A special nurse has to tie hired, not to care for patients but just to fill out forms for the government in copies of eight. Under our new laws if you don’t have the money to put your mother or father in a private home the government can place them in a home anywhere they want to. Who has the money ($400-1500 a month) to keep a parent in a home after one has had a stroke and been disabled for IM years, as some of our patients have? The federal gov ernrm*nt is forcibly remov mg patients from our home who have been there as long as 12 years. This is done without a thought for their feelings or even consulting their families. Under our new laws a sick person may lie placed in a private home with no state or federal regulations whatever. Is it right to take these people out of clean, well regulated homes with 24-hour nursing care because of stupid laws passed by stupid politicians who have never set feet in a nursing home but want to l>enefit big business0 These same laws have closed down over WI good nursing homes in Iowa and placed elderly people miles away from their families and loved ones How long will the American people sit idly by and watch big business push small people around and juggle lives without regard for the individual? What effect do you think it has on an 85-year-old woman whose only (laughter is WI and ill to be told she had to find another place to live0 They have alxirtion laws to get rid of unwanted children What are they going to pass next to get rid of unwanted old age0 Shirley Hollenbeck Bemoil Nursing Home ( enter Point Nursing care To the Editor ... I have been in the nursing home business just 4*^ years and have seen a multitude of rule changes, all of which were intended to make safer and more humane conditions for our elderly who need tare In accomplishing this, they have closed many older homes, causing a dire shortage in Linn county and many difficult matter to settle.” But. Thou concluded, nothing had since been done because Russia refused to “recognize objective fads like the existence of disputed areas.” How much of a change has now been produced0 Or is each party just trying to improve its propaganda position with respect to foreign Communist parties rn the underdeveloped third world’7 I have received the impression in each capital that the dispute cannot be terminated so long as Brezhnev and his others, and have increased the cost of nursing home care from SKI a day in 197U to approximately $16-20 now — in a basic nursing home. In September of this year, we received another rule book from the federal government, which applies only to the homes which have welfare patients. These rules are more stringent than our state regulations, and will definitely increase a nursing home's costs. This is fighting inflation0 They have added consultant social worker, dietitian and pharmacist to our required staff State regulations cover all these areas. The welfare rates are a maximum of $15 per day now . . . My latest costs '-how that I am above the $13 now. If I lose $1 per patient per day. it means over $1 WHI per month, due to the number of welfare patients here. Does the state colleagues govern Russia and Mao Tse-tung and Chou rule China. The venerable Mao is flagging and Chou has been ill for months Likewise, there are suspicions the hearty Brezhnev is no longer at the height of his powers and that a new set of bosses may take over within a year Aware of these impending changes. are the two Marxist powers getting ready to make a deal when fresh leaderships take over0 Or does each hope to really expect me to stand these losses and stay in business? As people, we really have hearts, but as businesses, we have to follow the simple rules of economics. . . . Lending agencies look at facts and figures, not at how compassionate you are or how you are gambling with time until the state raises the pay ments. I have been told that ADU payments will increase in the next month, or so. Our costs have increased by a much greater percentage than theirs. We came under the minimum wage increases May I. besides the food and utility increases everyone has. Thirty cents an hour meant $2.WHI per month to me We are all going to grow old — the only alternative is to die young. Most families have elderly members now When and if they need a nursing home, can you, or My guess, therefore, is that Beking — aware of a new internal rather than external trouble potential — is play ing a game of apparent conciliation However, unless Moscow produces tangible concessions, no earth-shaking realignment is in the offing And, on the record, it would apjiear unlikely the Kremlin is ready to go that far It hopes to influence people at the helm before it makes Chinese friends, or. rather, to put its friends in power first Ne* York Time* Service they, pay the going rates, or are you going to be forced to try to find a place for a welfare patient? The nursing homes are being forced into this by economics, not because they are heartless, greedy people . . Contact your new legislators — none of them mention this problem in their campaign platforms. These are your people we care for Beverly A Johnson, administrator Willow Hardens Home St Nursing Care Center. Marion Perversity Why do they schedule all the good TV programs on nights when you have to attend meetings0 Tooeko c coital Nonrunning Teddy still spotlighted Chappaquiddick will not fade By louis Harris TS* Ho"* 5ur**y Although Senator Edward Kennedy has officially taken himself out of the 1976 Democratic race for *4he presidential nomination, he remains a highly controversial public figure His behavior in the Chappaquiddick tragedy is still a major element in the public s assess-ment of him. In a poll conducted after Senator Kennedy removed himself from the 1976 contest. the following highlights emerged • A lopsided 75-13 percent majority agrees with the statement that Senator Kennedy “works hard at his job and is a gw>d I S. senator This latest result represents a moderate rise in his standing in the public eye. up from 66-16 percent who felt the same way a year ago. lf he is finally out of the immediate running for the White House, the chances are that Kennedy ’s efforts as a legislator will In* assessed more favorably on their own merits than in the context of his possible presidential ambitions. • The Massachusetts senator’s wellknown penchant for taking up the cause of the underdog has wide appeal, with a 36-27 percent majority agreeing that “he wants to help those who are weak arid less privileged, and the country can use that kind of leadership." At a time when the recession has made lower income and minority families suffer even more hardship, Edward Kennedy could easily become the champion of the minority cause • However, by 45-40 percent, a plurality does not believe that Senator Kennedy “could give the country the inspired leadership we need ” While highly satisfmd with his efforts as a U S. senator, the public is reluctant to make him the occupant of the White House • A major deterrent to Kennedy s ascension to the White House is the l>e-lief, among 40 percent, that "bec ause of what happened at Chappaquiddick. I d to feed you iO">* statement! people hove mod* about Senator Edward Kennedy For eoch, tell rn* it you tend to agre* or dn-ogree with it (R*od batement! | ’ louis ® Harris 1974    73    72    ’71 % % % Positive He work* Nord at hi* job and is a good U S. senator Agree O'sagree Not sure 75 13 12 66    67    68 16    18    20 18    15    12 Kennedy showed he does not deserve the presidency.” even though a plurality. 46 percent, do not agree The latest 4<» percent level of criticism of Kennedy over Chappaquiddick represents a 6-jMiint rise from 1973 • Anomer strongly expressed negative factor about Kennedy — that has not changed appreciably over the past four years — is the positive belief. among 59-35 percent, that “he has gone as far as he has Itec ause of his name " If he were to seek the Democratic presidential nomination, this criticism might have proven to be as powerful a deterrent to his presidential chances as the lingering questions over Chappaquiddick • A kind of bottom line on Senator Kennedy emerges in the 46 44 percent of the people who “do not fully trust his integrity This distrust has not c hanged appreciably over the past three sears and represents the most damaging evidence against Kennedy’s chanc es in the future After Watergate, integrity in high public officials is perhajis the only absolute must The American people will tolerate differences of opinion with its leaders on the issues and will even elect men they do not totally agree with. but they will not tolerate the slightest doubt about an offic ial s morality or ethics Recently, a cross-section of 1,544 adults was asked He want* to h*|p tbot* who or* w«oV and I*** privileged ond (be country can u!* !uc6 lead sr ship Agree    5ft    ,    „ D*ogr*e    27    «    , Not Kir*    J 7    . H* could give t6* country th* metred l*od*r *6tp we need Agree D i wig re* Not !ure Negative 40    36    i    t 45    43    «    i IS    21    «    * He Ha» gone ai (or ai b* hoi became of Sn nam* Agree D'logr*# No( lure 59 35 6 I do not fully tru»t hi* integrity Agree Diiogree Not lur# 46 44 IO 56    56    57 32    35    35 12    9    8 43 41 16 Recauie of what happened at Cbappoqutdd.rk, S* thowed h* do*i not deterv* th* pr*wd*ncy Agr*# Diiogree Not lur* 40 46 (4 34    35    33 49    49    51 17    16    16 Nut att e«l Chiros Tribune Ne* York Ne** Syndicate wmSSSSmm tv WifSSpift Soviet tension-easing for real? _influence    Ikr    H'l»    ............ rf influence the  ......  nuceesslnn    in the other? |s it conceivable this is a huge shad ow-nlav in which both regimes are preparing their respective positions for forthcoming discussions with the nj «•<! States (Brezhnev Ford at Vladivostok, (hmcKuednger at Peking) Mf ««««*• mg in strengthen their apparent hands (’nill today the inn communist giants continue to rival each other around he oarth dissemination mutually hostile propaganda. tine still sees thisi rival" in international forums, in I eking s naming that the West should remain si runt!, in the successful I hmese effort to block Japanese technical aid to Moscow for Siberian oil. China is probably throwing the ball back to Russia while making a neat diplomatic and propaganda ploy For a year I have been convinced there would be no Soviet military onslaught: only an effort to produce an eventual pro-Moscow regime. Every Chinese political purge since Mao took over has been linked to the I S.S R. The post-Mao struggle for power will be quite different from similar contests in Moscow Mao alone has been in charge of China's destinies since the revolution. But Russia has seen I/enin, Stalin, Malenkov, Khrushchev and now Brezhnev It has developed its own awk- i xii' L-1 f i ti Poor fellow . ;