Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - November 23, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
8 The (edar Rapids Gazette: Sat., Nov. 23. 1971
How To Spot Vocational School Gyps
By Sylvia Porter
NEW YORK - Vocational schools and home study courses fill a vital role in America’s educational system They can be of enormous value to you — which is. of course, the fundamental reason the industry has ballooned to a mul-ti-billion-dollar size and why a whopping 3,250,000 Americans are enrolled today in 10,000 private vocational schools the nation over.
But the bitter fact also is that many schools simply do not live up to their promise to give you a vocational education. How, then, do you find the honest one, spofthe gyps? What yardsticks can you use to judge a school or correspondence course?
Typically, aa extravagant ad will be a warning signal that a school is using questionable promotion tactics. The ad may stress how badly needed are personnel in whatever field is mentioned, how high are the salaries paid, how easily “graduates" can be placed in well-paying jobs.
A come-on even may pro mi si1 “free lifetime placement." An ad may claim that only a limited number of applicants will be accepted, even that a diploma will be the same as a college degree.
Actual costs may bt' grossly understated. An ad may boost the creditability of the schools being touted by such come-ons as “highly qualified and competent instructors, approved for veterans.”
Here are key rules to guide you:
Send for the Federal Trade
Commission’s free “Pocket Guide to Choosing a Vocational School’’ (Consumer Information. Pueblo, Colo., 81009).
Find out from students who have attended the school how they rated the courses and how much help the instruction was in getting a job. Check your Iota! Better Business Bureau
Ask prospective employers whether they do and would hire graduates of the school, how the training would affect your starting salary, how many graduates actually have been hired during the last year.
Be thoroughly aware that the federal government does not accredit vocational schools or rate their quality. Nor does the
Veterans Administration rate or approve such schools. The fact that a veteran is eligible for GI bill benefits to attend a certain school does not guarantee that school’s quality.
Be alert to the fact that price is no indication whatsoever of the quality of instruction you’ll get. In fact, some of the biggest gyps in vocational education come in the highest-priced packages.
Find out whether any advertised salaries on post-school jobs that are advertised are beginning level pay or salaries being paid to long-experienced employes
( heck whether any registration fee you are required to pay is refundable and under what circumstances. What would
happen, for instance, if your acceptance in a school depends on whether you can get appropriate financing If you apply but then can’t find a lender, do you forfeit your registration fee?
Ask what, if any, job
placement service is offered and whether or not it is free.
Investigate whether the
school offers any financing, and if so, how the terms compare to those available from other lenders.
Note that if yon are a veteran
— or an eligible spouse or widow — taking a correspondence course under the GI bill, that you have a 10-day cooling-off period during which you
may, if you so decide, cancel your home study contract
Write to the Accreditation
and Institutional Eligibility Staff. U. S Office of Education, 400 Maryland Ave , Washington, D. C., 20202, if you want to find out if any vocational school is formally accredited or if you want any details on the validity of degrees offered by such a school.
Most important, carefully
study any contract before you sign it, and if you don’t understand any sentence in it, insist on answers that satisfy you.
And if yon suspect a swindle,
report the details at once to the nearest office of the Federal Trade Commission and/or the Consumer Protection Agency.
Air Force Flying Fish Project Uncovered
Frog ’n Cycle
This ceramic statue of a frog riding a motorcycle caught the interest of two youngsters at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wis. The statue, created by Paul Dresang of Minneapolis, was among the works on display in an exhibit of "Extraordinary Vehicles
AT&T Suit: Forecast of Trouble for Big Business
By Jnhn ( unniff
NEW YORK (AP) - Except perhaps in terms of profits, these aren’t very comfortable days for big business The utilities are under attack from customers, ecologists, politicians and others The automotive companies are criticized for their pricing policies and polluting ways. The biggest railroad, the Penn Central, is being operated in bankruptcy. Some airlines are in a regulatory bind Health insurers know all about the troubles that bigness can bring They are in a fight, as they view it, for their very existence, a fight that if lost might reduce them to mere clerks in a national health insurance program
Nothing erystalizes the fight that big business is in more than the government’s antitrust action against American Telephone and Telegraph, a company that serves 80 percent of Americans and which is financially more powerful than most nations of the earth AT&T is the symbol. It is huge almost beyond comprehension It employs more than one million workers Its assets exceed $67 billion It has raised its net income every year but one since 1947, earn mg |2 95 billion last year Whether the attacks against big business today are based stnctly rn the legalities — in an effort, that is, to preserve the pre-eminence of law over individuals or corporations — will continue to be argued.
Most of the attacks, from wherever they originate —
consumer, ecologist, elected representative — eventually take a legal form But this doesn t disguise completely the likelihood that political activation might lay at the base
To attack big business today seems to be good politics A good portion of tin* public feels it hasn t performed as effectively as it should in holding down prices or in serving the public.
It is too noncompetitive, too burdened with its own bureaucracy, too self-serving, the critics say.
While many companies consider themselves marvels of managerial and technological efficiency, the public often has a different attitude, viewing them as dinosaurs possessed of ravenous, ruinous appetites and selfmh disdain
With prices rising throughout the world, many people wonder whatever became of the “economics of volume" they had read about in Economics I. The utilities grow larger and so do their prices The carmakers, giants of industry, raise their prices almost as often as sugar processors
The giants have difficulty explaining that if they must
pay billions of dollars for ecologically desirable improvements, or improve their employe fringe benefits. or pay higher raw material prices they must pass some of the cost on to customers
A company such as International Business Machines, also under anti-trust attack, finds it difficult to prove to the public that it is really improving its efficiency, because there is little to measure its figures against — except its own history.
AT&T is in the same position in attempting to prove its efficiency. To a great degree it really has no competition and as many an AT&T man will argue, it really shouldn’t. Its efficiency, they say, lies in monopoly,
■John deButts, chairman, told shareholders in the 1973 annual report that the industry has throughout its history been “a natural monopoly." He questioned “the arbitrary division of the market between our-selves and others
By Dick West
WASHINGTON (UFI) -Anyone exposed to the daily outpourings of congrcssnen quickly becomes dismayed over how myopic they are.
At hand is a classic illustration — a press release from Rep. Les Aspin (D-Wis.) accusing the air force of maintaining five aircraft in labrador for fishing trips.
Noting that the planes, which cost $100,000 a year to operate, are carried in the budget under “strategic offensive operations,” Aspin aspersively comments:
"There is no way these planes could be used in strategic operations. They are too old. too small and not even bombers "
Really now! It’s incredible
$500 Reward for Killing Burglar Worries Police
CARY. N C. (UPI) - Sign* posted by a local shopping center owner offering a $500 reward to anyone killing a burglar inside have the local police chief worrit'd Police Chief J. W. Boles said anyone shooting a burglar would be subject to a possible murder charge and “one heck of a liability suit could come out of that."
David Martin posted the signs at the South Hill shopping mall this week. They also offer $21 NI for burglars brought in alive Martin, the victim of five burglaries since July, said he posted a similar sign eight years ago after a similar rash of burglaries at a service station he ow ns.
“I think very strongly this is a good approach,” Martin said. “I’d be yellow backed and have a jelly spine if I didn t defend my property."
The River Shannon, longest river in the British Isles. flows 224 miles through Ireland to the Atlantic Ocean; a canal with 44 locks links it with the Irish Sea at Dublin
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how often our lawgivers miss the true significance of matters that pop up under their very noses.
To assume that frequent flights to labrador fishing
resorts have no strategic implications is terribly dim-sighted.
Apparently Aspin has not seen the movie “The Day of the Dolphin. ”
Although its account of a military plot to train dolphins
to blow up ships is fictitious, the movie is by no means entirely without basis in fact.
It is know n that the U .S. navy has indeed experimented with the use of dolphins to carry out certain underwater tasks And anyone, who knows anything at all about interser-vice rivalry knows the air force doesn’t stand around and let the navy get sole credit for some new breakthrough
( •ndueting lls Own
Any time the navy has a fish-training program in the works, you can bet the air force is conducting its own piscatorial project.
Some clue as to w hat may be afoot in Labrador may be found by turning to any good encyclopedia and looking up “flying fish. ”
There you will learn that
certain types of finny creatures can aviate through the troposphere for distances up to LINN) feet.
, Which is more than enough for the air force to claim jurisdiction
Now suppose a school of flying fish was outfitted with some type of high explosive. And suppose they were trained to launch themselves at a given target at a given signal.
No enemy city or installation within 1,000 feet of the coastline would be* safe.
Since nothing has leaked, the project must be strictly hushhush But if congressmen were even halfway alert to what’s going on around them, they could figure these things out for themselves.
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Street Signs Falling Prey To Tourists
SAN FRANCISUO (AP) -Visitors often leave their hearts in Sail Francisco, but some of them are taking their favorite street signs in exchange.
Normally, the city loses *00 to 600 signs a year to pole-shinnying thieves, but this year thefts are up. So far 700 have been stolen, and tile city’s sign man says it’s probably the tourists.
“I can’t explain why the thefts are increasing,” said John Giorgi. street sign supervisor “Maybt' it s because we have more tourists visiting the city."
Each sign costs $73 to replace, and San Francisco usually replaces some $50,>0 worth a year
Favorite signs going like hotcakes include: California, Mississippi, Chicago, Moscow Famous districts and tourist sights too: The sign at the corner of Haight and Ashbury streets, redolent of the long-gone flower children, and Tw in Peaks. Sunset Boulevard is a favorite.
Off-beat and picturesque street favorites: Winding Way, Shamrock, Shakespeare, Beacon. Albatross, Sunshine. Shawnee, Thrift, Tipperary and Blanche.
“We’ve got a long way to go in replacing them and those souvenir hunters w ill go a long way too,” Giorgi said
City officials have tried riveting the signs to posts instead of screwing them on. They’ve even raised signs and greased some poles
But that doesn’t stop some street sign lovers, who risk a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $5<Ni fine
Giorgi said that one man came in and asked to buy a sign.
“I told him we couldn’t sell it — that the signs are city property," he said “And he said, Well, then, what will happen if I just go out and take one?’ ”
Boston’s Hurdy-Gurdy Man Retires After 75 Years
Obviously he sjust had the rug yanked out from under him.”
Hearing Slated On Truck Lengths
AMES (UPI) — The state would take effect May I, 1975. department of transportation he said. commission will hold a public hearing Wednesday to allow citizens and organizations to present opinions on proposed rules regulating truck lengths in Iowa.
BOSTON (UPI) - For 74 years, Marino Persechini gave Boston a cheerful tune and a warm smile. He was the hurdy-gurdy man.
Rain or shine, since 1900. Persechini has stood on street corners in the city's bustling downtown shopping district grinding out the melodies on his old music machine
It was a meager living for his wife and six children, but money was not important.
“It was the happiness he go! from making other people happy (hat mattered to him,” recalled his granddaughter, Mrs. Margaret I^mbardi “He Just loves people. Ile really does.”
With his eyesight failing, Persechini was forced to retire earlier this year at the age of 94 He now lives with his granddaughter’s family and recently sold hts hurdy gurdy to an antiques dealer in suburban Brookline for $5.INN!
The man who bought it, F rancis O’Boy, gave a formal retirement party for Persechini
“Ifs not very much, I know,” said O’Boy, “but someone should do something for a man w ho has provided as much enjoyment for kids and adults as he has."
Mrs. Lombardi said giving up the hurdy gurdy after three quarters of a century was hard on her grandfather, who does not sjK*ak English
“His heart will always be in downtown Boston," she said ' f hat's where he had so many friends. I think he misses the hurdv gurdy more than even he will admit. The other day he said. T’ve lost a friend .”
O’Boy said he dot's not plan to sell the hurdy gurdy, and will put it on display.
“I remember (the music) more than 40 years ago wheu I was a boy.” O’Boy said, “and I think ifs part of Boston s history, I told Mr, Persechini lie could come by and play it any time He probably will, Phi "
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Acting Director Howard
Gunnerson said the meeting will Im' at 2 p.m. in the Iowa
highway commission offices
He said the 1974 Iowa legislature charged the new IK)T with adopting rules and regulations governing truck
lengths in Iowa, with the new rules to be presented to the 1975 session The new rule
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