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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - September 13, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa p Editorial Page Friday, Sephjmber 13, 1974 Crummy sewers returning? ABBOTT AND Costello may be officially deceased, but the suspicion here is that the bumbling pair have slipped anonymously away and taken jobs as federal housing officials. How else can one fathom the feds’ desire to foist upon Cedar Rapids homebuyers the same inferior type of sewer pipe that was outlawed by the city council six years ago? The way many experts explain it, the bituminized fiber pipe con* necting many home sanitary systems with city sewer lines is a rupture waiting to happen Not only does the material lack rigidity, it cannot stand year-in, year-out loads of hot water and detergents. In other words, the reinforced tarpaper tubing will last forever as long as one does not bury it and use it for transporting the very substances every homeowner needs to expel from his home. Uncle Sams motive is not suspect here. Bituminized fiber piping is cheaper than its castiron, clay and concrete counterparts; its recommended use meshes with the housing and urban development department s anti-inflation strategy. But the piping’s record of quick, near-certain failure in Cedar Rapids shows that re-introduction here would be the height of folly. As reporter Mike Deupree noted in the Sept. 8 Gazette, estimates on the number of sewer failures vary. Nonetheless, it is accurate to say that thousands of Cedar Rapids homeowners already have suffered or soon will experience the necessity of replacing faulty pipes. It is a vastly expensive emergency for most: about $1,000 if the break occurs during warm weather, but much more during winter while the ground is frozen. Naturally, excavation swaths respect no beauty. Trees, shrubs and even driveway pavement must go if they’re in the way. Clearly, then, use of the nondurable piping to lower a house’s purchase price is false economy. The federal government’s promotion of bituminized fiber sewer pipe can hardly be called an infla tion-hedge when chances are the homeowner must replace it within a dozen years. The only economy boost is for plumbers who seem to be mining a bonanza. (City code requires that sewer connections be made by licensed plumbers, though construction companies which specialize in sewer installation doubtless could do the job equally well and cheaper ) All this is not to suggest that the notorious piping remains without defenders locally. Some responsible persons attribute most failures to improper installation Reinforcing this argument is the fact that the method of pipe laying recommended by the city is not required in the city building code. To blame the epidemic sewer problem on shoddy workmanship, however, one must imagine that contractors here for years installed pipe in a manner they knew would haunt them less than a decade later One needn’t be a sanitary engineer to trace the trouble to the approval of substandard material for home sewer lines prior to 1968 The city council back then judiciously banned the piping (nicknamed “Orangeburg”, though that’s a misnomer), and today’s council commendably hopes to repel the feds’ re-introduction of the stuff If the government has its way, councilmen plan to require the best possible safeguards against premature sewer line failure. That at least would spare some homeowners the* hardship already suffered by thousands. The hope here is that the city also can erase the grossest unfairness of all: that homeowners, none other, must bear the entire cost of replacing inferior sewer lines. To call the situation a scandal is no exaggeration. Larcenous Lou NOW THAT the St. Louis Cardinals’ Lou Brock has topped Maury Wills’ stolen-base record (104) for one baseball season, sports writers naturally are tempted to compare the two athletes. Forget it; likening Wills to Brock is tantamount to holding Cannonade equal to Citation Brock is a much superior hitter. Not only has he enjoyed a longer and more distinguished career, he has rewritten the stolen-base book running against better pitchers and catchers than Wills had to contend with in his halcyon year, 1962 Consider: In 62. Wills played 18 games each against a bad expansion team, Houston (96 losses); an awful New York club (120 defeats), also suffering its first year; and a bumbling Chicago Way with wordsHoliday for Lady Luck By Theodore M. Bernstein Unlucky day. to the superstitious. Friday the 13th is something they could do without. To begin with, the number 13 is deemed to be unlucky, so much so that many builders, afraid that tenants will not rent quarters on the 13th floor, skip it and call the floor above the 12th floor the 14th As to Friday, in many churches it was decreed to be a day of abstinence, as the day on which Jesus was crucified In addition to that, in olden times it was known as “hangman’s day” because that was the day on which public executions took place. But be of good cheer; all you need so is to hang on through the 13th because the next day will be the 14th team (103 losses) to whom the New Yorkers would soon sublet the dungeon Virtually all the teams trying to nab Brock have talented athletes, including accurate strong-arm catchers. What makes Brock’s accomplishment all the more impressive is his age. Running on 35-year-old pins and playing in 134 of the Cardinals’ 142 games (through last Tuesday), he surpassed the 165-game stolen-base output of a then 29-year-old Maury Wills Brock’s feat thus is an inspiration to all thirtyish joggers and runners. To recall one of Gazette Sports Editor (Jus Schrader’s most atrocious word plays (writing then about Wills), that makes the guy some kind of thief of bags, dad None again A little while back this column contained a sentence that ended, ”... none of those meanings have the sense the writer intended ** That prompted Vlaihilde Soloff of Philadelphia to ask whether the hove should not have been has The answer is no As was stated here once before, your grammar school teacher. Miss Thistlebottom, probably taught you that none derived from not one and therefore must always take a singular verb. The first part of what she said is correct; the second is not, Although none sometimes means not one. it often means not any, as it does in this sen tence ‘‘Tomatoes are plentiful in this area, but none grow in our garden It would sound pedantic and prissy to use growl in that sentence. Actually, most authorities agree that the plural use of none goes back to the earliest days of English writing and that it is commoner today than the singular use. Ne* York Time* Syndicate Pardon me Weasel-out primer S'4* CHICAGO 7b 9A k I People's forum‘Bad idea’ To the Editor Of all harebrained ideas, the one by State Sen. Michael Blouin to require the Iowa commerce commission to buy all of the railroad right-of-way, tracks, etc , rn Iowa (SF’ 1189) has to win first prize His statement on TV that the only thing wrong with his proposal is that it needs to be done at the national level proves that he really meant it. Government is big enough as it is without unnecessarily adding to the bureaucracy by government ownership of part of the private sector of our economy. Blouin’s bill dm*sn’t say where the dollars would come from, but it would take over $300 million in Iowa alone equivalent to about one-half of Iowa’s present budget) and it would also mean the loss of $5-7 million in property taxes now collected from railroads in Iowa. This type of fuzzy thinking is what you would expect from somebody who sponsored the. bill to make the ladybug the state bug, but it isn’t what we expect from someone who hopes to replace John (’ulvcr in congress Dave Rutt FayetteRiver sewage To the Editor I would like to bring up an Iowa problem that Is only getting worse over the years Having spent weekends boating and fishing on the Mississippi river since childhood, I feel it is time our citizens be informed of one of Iowa’s growing water pollution problems. Last weekend while spending the holiday with my mother and father on their houseboat, I was greatly disappointed to discover how lax Iowa’s water pollution laws are, especially after my continued broadcasting to visitor of how clean and comparatively unpolluted Iowa is Prior to spending three weeks on the river, my parents had installed a holding tank sewage system for Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota The tank is pumped out at ‘‘sanitary stations” into the city or rural sewage lines for treatment, thus keeping this added bit of pollution out of the river. This is a worthwhile cost of $5Case for    dem ..*9- IfJI While standing on a McGregor dock. I was shocked to discover the attendant going through the usual procedures of pumping the holding tank The pipe at the end of the hose was dumping the raw sewage right back into the river — untreated This also cost $5. Considering the beautiful houseboats, yachts and cruisers that require this type of facility, I couldn't believe Iowa was the only member of the tri-state area not equipped to handle river sew age properly. It’s time something is done with the problems rn the Dubuque marina, the heavy water pollution in the Davenport marina area and the poor fishing that is beginning to result. With the millions of dollars people spend to enjoy the Mississippi, I hate to see the “best river of all" ruined by all this extra garbage Mrs. Charles DeSaulmers 2804 O avenue NWAnother l ieu' BEA So what else is new? *Haig s future To the F^ditor Should the President appoint General Haig as commander of NATO? Emphatically, no. For the well-being of the many of us, only a man of the highest integrity and honor should hold such a responsible post It is doubtful that any of Mr Nixon’s underlings could measure up to this standard These are precarious times. F'or the President to find such a man. may I humbly suggest that Mr Ford borrow or buy one Aladdin's lamp and join Diogenes in search for an honest man It won’t lie easv to find one By Russell Baker ITT FENDELL ll Howes VV Chief of police Nantucket. Mass Dear Chief Howes I have your traffic ticket which was left on my automobile in August, for a parking violation, said violation having occurred when I briefly left my car in a forbidden space while shopping for wine at Henry’s package goods store near the steamboat wharf Your ticket instructs me to remit a payment of $5 in punishment. and I would do so immediately were I not firmly persuaded that such punishment would constitute an injustice with which neither you nor the town selectmen wish to have your names forever linked in history I, therefore, request a full pardon from this $5 parking fine, in support of which proposal I cite the following precedents for pardon: I. The ‘‘already suffered enough precedent — Before being driven to commit the violation at Henry's, I had sought parking spaces in the vicinity, first, of Murray’s liquor store, and second, of the Islander liquors shop In pardoning his predecessor, Mr Nixon. President F'ord confirmed truthfully the statement he made sometime ago when he said, ‘‘I am only a F'ord, not a Lincoln.” In appointing a NATO commander it is much desirable that he try to imitate Mr Lincoln General Haig’s meteoric rise in the military ranks can bt* ascribed less to his brilliance, if he dm*s possess any, than to his somewhat despotic philosophy which accorded with the then commander-in-chief. Mr. Nixon's. He is tainted now with the odors of the former President’s caballing; but his past glory and the lucre should in some degree assuage his present discomfiture. He gambled and lost, so I cannot see why he should be elevated again There are. I'm certain, better men deserving it more Every man s work. whatever it may be. is always a portrait of himself. The more he tries to conceal himself, the more clearly will his character appear in spite of him. General Haig has been part and parcel of deliberate obfuscation of the truth. He carries but few scruples in his portfolio. With the sunset of Mr Nixon, Haig s little world of fantasy caved in I do feel a little sorry for him. but I hopi*, for the benefit of mankind, that he will never become supreme commander of NATO Hjalmar Johnson 2499 (’ avenue NEPosters To the FIditor The Cedar Rapids-Marion league of Women Voters wishes to publicly thank the city of Cedar Rapids for sponsoring the playground poster contest, ‘‘Better Water week ”, and Iowa Electric Light and Power Company for its display of the posters It is important for children to become aware of the responsibilities all citizens share for environmental concerns. Jackie Chaeey, chairman Environmental Quality committee 1918 Washington avenue SF! Margaret Smith, president Cedar Rapids-Marion League of Women Voters 1024 Maplewood drive NE Same result, swift or delayed By Roscoe Drummond WASHINGTON — There is no good case to be made against President F’ord’s pardoning of Richard Nixon It is a very weak case indeed, and can Ik* so demonstrated The central argument brought against Mr F’ord’s action is that to pardon the former President is unfair to his subordinates who have been or already are being prosecuted for related offenses This would Ik* a valid contention, a persuasive contention, if those who criticize the President for his decision were opposing pardon for Nixon at a later date But they aren t They are criticizing what they condemn as “premature pardon.” What they are advocating is prosecution of Nixon now and pardon by Mr Ford later if he so wishes I ask How would prosecuting Nixon now and pardoning him later give equal justice to his subordinates, some of whom have already served their jail sentences and some — like Mitchell, Haldeman and F;hrlichman — who are still facing trial'’ It wouldn't I ask: How does pardoning Nixon now create any greater injustice for his subordinates than pardoning hun later’’ It doesn I. Under either circumstance, the result would be the same Present pardon still permits th** other trials to go forward Later pardon simply means that they would already have gone forward The controlling fact is that most of the opponents of the Ford decision do not provide any way to guarantee equal treatment for Nixon and his aides Since they do not oppose ultimate pardon, they can’t possibly recall the sentences which have already been passed on numerous of them Granting the pardon now does not create injustice any more than deferring pardon would prevent injustice The second argument advanced by the critics is that Richard Nixon’s guilt has not yet been clearly established — and should bt* established by pros<*cu-lion. Iii each case I was waved out of ii-legal parking spaces by meter maids, who indicated their intention to ticket me if I persisted in parking In both cases I gladly made the sacrifice out of my great respect for law and order By th** time the illegal parking spot near Henry’s was located, it was quite clear that I had already suffered enough in satisfying the law’s harsh demands, and so I parked the car Added burden At Henry’s I purchased two half gallon jugs of domestic red wine at $4 55 each for serving at a large dinner An oafish dog later knocked one of these jugs off the kitchen table and smashed it, thus putting me out $4 55. Moreover, the guests criticized the remaining wine as inferior stuff and suggested that I had shown meanness of purse in serving it. In the $4.55 financial loss caused by the dog and in the loss of face suffered before my guests, I contend that I have already suffered enough and. therefore, should not be asked to bear the additional burden of a $5 parking ticket. 2. The ‘‘hanging is enough, you don’t have to draw and-quarter-’em” precedent — The paper shortage prevents me from listing all the money Nantucket extracted from me this summer, but even a summary must persuade you that I have already been hanged. financially speaking, if not drawrf I mean, really now. $93 for water' And $82 a month for electricity. And $75 a month for oil? In a month when there was no heat running. And the ferry service. It costs more per mile to ride that ferry from Wood’s Hole to Nantucket than it costs to travel to F’.urope first class on the Fiance. In view of the sums Nantucket has already exacted from my bank balance. I am certain you will agree with me’that the insistence on yet another $5 check amounts to drawing and quartering the already hanged. As pardoned President Nixon once asked, do you want to pick the carcass? 3. The “American tragedy” precedent — I have never committed a mugging. cracked a safe, stuck up a gas station. or stolen fancy bicycles from children In short, I am not a crook. Scourged It it not an American tragedy indeed when someone as eminently law abiding as I, finds himself caught parking in a forbidden space? When that space is in an area as crowded as the steamboat wharf, the tragedy is compounded, for his shame is flaunted before hundreds and hundreds of passers-by who inevitably see the parking ticket tied to the door handle of his humiliated car It is surely better for the country to put tragedy of this order behind it, and to grant its victim such p<n»r mercy as is within temporol government’s limited power. I. therefore, urge the town of Nantucket to rise above a too scrupulous passion for law enforcement and pardon me this $5 parking fine as a gesture of appreciation for the high quality of the tragedy with which my car and I have enriched Nantucket's otherwise humdrum summer season Assuming that the town will act favorably on my pardon, I will also take this opportunity to notify town authorities that I shall mmw be requesting a substantial sum of money from the Nantucket treasury. If I am to grant the town the boon of my residence there next summer, I shall require a considerable monetary allowance for office expenses, travel costs (that murderous ferry!) and miscellaneous, whatever that may be. A detailed estimate of these charges will be sent later. I mention them here only to give early notice that it may be necessary to increase parking fines in order to finance my continuing residence on the island In the meantime I await notice of my pardon. Yours in law , Russell Baker It has been established beyond doubt The June 23 tapes revealed that Nixon participated in obstruction of justice The White House statement releas- In SI SI lit S mg the June 23 tapes admitted that Nixon was involved in the coverup This was one of the im|M*achable offenses cited rn the articles of impeachment which the house judiciary committee later unanimously voted This is guilt beyond doubt, and if congress feels the need to establish it further, it can proceed with the impeachment proem to the end of a senate trial The sentences thus far meted oui to the Nixon aides are not inordinate and the resignation sentence imposed on Nixon is just about equal to capital pun ishment, and could hardly In* more se-vere short of the firing squad IM Anhele* Tim#* Synrflrrjt# Ne* York Time* S#r f have a New England conscience —— I like to pay my bills the second of the month Sinclair lewis ;

Clippings and Obituaries for the Cedar Rapids Gazette