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Citizen Times Newspaper Archives Sep 17 1964, Page 4

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Citizen-Times (Newspaper) - September 17, 1964, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Delay prompted by caution a month has passed since fire destroyed the citizen times building thirty Days have slipped by during which the regular publishing activities of this newspaper have been curtailed the Moon has waxed and waned again while experts have busied themselves pushing each solitary Ash through the Eye of a Needle searching so we Are told for the exact origins of that myster ious Blaze and for some clue As to the Iden Tity of its authors during that agonizing twelfth of a year the Ash sifters have nodded sagely to each other consulting at judicious intervals the sifters Bible and have announced to each other and to the world at Large that the evil hand of arson winked unmistakably at them from each Corner of the charred Structure someone they have chanted in unison someone set this fire deliberately we Marvel the world and the universe must Marvel at the dizzying Heights that the science of fire origin detection has reached in our lifetime consider if you will that the Ash sleuths have not Only ascertained foul play by Avenue of arson but have noted also with pontifical finality that the Blaze was set simultaneously in three areas of the building from our shallow under stand ing of How a fire Burns garnered quite recently we must admit it would seem that not Only the relatively new sciences of fire detection were employed but that another an older pseudoscience Clairvoyance has been liberally employed As Well As always we Are reluctant to Challenge the heavenly guided divination of experts after All we might want to set ourselves up As experts on some subject or other some Day neither would we like to Challenge Point by Point the processes by which any supposed science reaches its ultimate conclusions but we must wonder and express that wonder when competent and qualified fire detection experts assert with absolute positiveness that a Complex fire in an old and Large building was started in three places at once t we have been told we wonder if the investigators know that a fire once begun travels in baffling and mysterious ways that flame May pass Over whole areas where objects of a fire resistant nature Are stored and ignite More volatile substances in scattered parts of a building according to some knowledgeable observers who have taken the time to Point this out to us the results of the process described above can make it appear to investigator that the fire had its origin in More than one place when in fact it did not do we then question that the fire that burned the citizen times was set by an arsonist not Likely we Are no experts but we do know that even the experts Are terribly cautious when making a pronouncement As grave As the one that has been made regard ing the citizen times fire perhaps that is Why the investigation of the citizen times fire has drug on for a month already and with no end in sight we Hope so we would hate to think that there might be any other reason for de laying the conclusion of the investigation plumb tuckered if youre As tired of hearing us carry on about the citizen times fire As we Are of talk ing about it youre plumb tuckered out so Are we but we Hope youll Bear with us until the matter is settled and that youll understand just what is at stake and Why it has been hard for us to have anything else on our minds in the past few weeks the future of this newspaper is on the Block we cannot do other than fight for it just what kind of people we Are seems to have found its Way into the fray As Well we cannot stand idly by we Hope that All of this madness will be Over before Long and that we can return our energies to the Job we have tried to do for the last two years to Bri Cedar rapids All of the news and letting the chips fall where they May easier to list friends one of the lighter moments in what has been a monumental unfunny month occurred a few Days ago during a session attended by the publishers of this newspaper and the fire investigation team probing the citizen times fire one of those gentlemen was moved to ask arson having been established if we could think of anyone who might want to see the it out of business were too polite to laugh out loud but we opined straight faced As possible that anywhere in the phone Book would be As Good a place As any to Start now really they cant expect us to carry that Many names around in our head it would have been easier now that we think about it to come up with a list of those who Haven said they like Tosee us run out of town on a rail the other Side of the Coin Contd something before you have it in this regard we might also mention that we were required under contract Purchase arrangements made on the equipment to carry insurance on every piece of equipment in the building and had no real Choice in the matter the citizen times was Over insured answer we wish it were True the cold facts Are that we were not the citizen times its contents and building were insured for about 000 00 the loss sustained in the fire will far exceed that figure every dime of insurance Money and then some will go to companies holding Contr acts on the equipment that was being Pur chased we did not own it we had Only begun that month the Twenty year ordeal of paying for it changes were made in insurance coverage shortly before the fire answer yes by Golly there was a change made we reduced the policy that covered the contents of the building from 000 00 to 000 00 about ten Days before the fire because we Felt the Premium was a Little stiffer than we could afford in All of the talk about insurance coverage no one seemed disposed to take notice of that insignificant detail polygraph cont the operator who would give the test those qualifications seemed to us to be not Only a reasonable question but a vital one the accuracy of the polygraph need not be questioned Here by us it has been repeatedly challenged by lawyers and jurists around the nation and the world because of the doubts regarding its accuracy As evidence no data collected by polygraph May be submitted in courts on one thing the experts do agree it is imperative that the oper Ator of a polygraph be extensively trained and highly skilled in its operation we did not say that the proposed poly graph operator was unqualified to administer a test to us we have no idea what his qualifications Are that Why we asked we wanted to know what questions would be asked we dont think it unreasonable we find it relevant while we Are willing to give an information about our whereabouts in the hours before the fire we have no intention of answering questions about our personal life our Bank statement if we believe in motherhood or How we stand on the top less bathing suit Issue where we were when the fire started is their Busi Ness anything else is our business we volunteered to take a lie Detector test there is nothing in the Law that compels us to do so we Are still will ing to take one but we Are not willing to Stum ble blindly into an artful stratagem calculated to make us enthusiastic participants at a modern Day inquisition Cove shed to Frame us nor Are we willing to let inconclusive results be used As a lever for More tests More investigations and More delays we remain willing to take a lie Detector test under the circumstances outlined we feel they Are reasonable if responsible officials feel they Are not we would like to know Why not and have their reasons stated publicly we have stated ours

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