Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 1, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE IETHMIDQI H1HALD Friday, February Save the campgrounds One of the most audacious suggestions to be made lately to the provincial government is the request by the operators of private campgrounds and resorts that Alberta shut down its road- side campgrounds because they are un- dercutting private business This is so ridiculous that it is hard to see how the government can take it seriously It is analogous to having a con- tractor build a toll bridge across a river alongside a regular highway bridge and then ask the highway department to close down its bridge because it com- petes with his business The public roadside campgrounds have been in existence for some time, and they offer only minimum facilities for camping, so minimal that it is difficult to accept them as competitive with private campgrounds offering more in the way of amenities. They were established presumably because the government wanted to make travel and recreational camping available to all, on the assump- tion that this was beneficial. There was a time, within living memory, when only the rich could afford to travel. Many tourists coming to Alberta from the U.S. are impressed with the fact that govern- ment service to the public includes such utility campgrounds The boom in recreation and travel within the past decade has encouraged development of many private enterprises catering to campers It, now, the economic condition of these private operators is poor, as the Resort and Campground Managers Association of Alberta says, possibly the industry over- developed in some areas. Possibly the situation is just a reflection of poor business judgment on the part of in- dividuals or a lack of recognition that tourism is a highly sensitive and fre- quently marginal business that fluc- tuates with the economy. As an industry it adds less to a community than is com- monly supposed because it develops mainly unskilled, low-paying jobs. That it tills a need cannot be denied, but it can also be said that it is an industry in which hopes can quickly turn to ashes. Next summer is not likely to be one of the best seasons for tourism in Alberta, given the real or feared shortages of gas- oline and the possibility of a depressed economy generally in the United States. Certainly campground and resort operators have the right of appeal to the government for assistance, but they should not expect the government to sacrifice established, public campgrounds on their behalf, because they also fill a need. Where's Diego Garcia? A small island which does not exist, according to most world atlases, has taken on considerable importance in the area of international power politics that seems to be shifting along the fault line of the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is widely assumed that the Suez Canal will soon be opened, with the U.S. providing massive aid to help clear the waterway and restore the ruined towns along its course. This is understood to be part of the unique undertaking between Egypt, Israel and Henry Kissinger which led finally to the separation agreement between Egyptian and Israeli forces. Undoubtedly, the opening will benefit the Israelis. Although Israeli ships may not use the canal, Israeli goods may go through on foreign ships. The Egyptians have also withdrawn their blockade of Bab el Mandeb strait between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden which effectively blockaded the Israeli port of Eilat. The opening of the canal will not likely alter the pattern of oil shipments, since super tankers are too big to navigate the canal and it is cheaper and only a little slower to use the route around the tip of South Africa. The big beneficiary will be Russia, which is already becoming a naval power to be reckoned with around the Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. The Soviet Union has two large airfields in Somalia, at the extreme eastern tip of Africa, and is building a base in Iraq on the Persian Gulf. With the opening of the Suez Canal, Russian supply lines by sea will be shortened by about miles. At the moment the U.S.S.R. must supply its bases from Vladivostok, a distance of miles, but its ports on the Black Sea are only miles distant via the canal. With the expectation that the Russians will perhaps quadruple their naval strength around the oil-rich Arabian peninsula, the U.S. has been trying to pry out of Britain an agreement to let it expand its small naval communications station on Diego Garcia into a full- fledged naval base complete with airfield to counter increased Soviet strength. This tiny, equatorial island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, is the principal isle of the Chagos Archipelago and the present communications station there has 200 U.S. navy personnel. The British have been reluctant to agree to expanding this station for fear of offending the Arabs, who would look on an increased American military presence as a threat to their oil fields. Whatever threat the Russians may pose, in the Arab mind, it is a fact that the Soviet Union is self-sufficient in oil. When the U.S. secretary of state brings his personal powers of persuasion to bear on the matter, the British will probably agree to an expanded U.S. base on Diego Garcia. Map makers then will be alerted to the existence of the island, the game of power politics will go on, and more than one uneasy observer will recall the comment of a diplomat, now dead, who said, "When people start spending a lot of money on gunboats, you have to bear in mind that they may be thinking about gunboat diplomacy." Enclosed at last By Doug Walker The rest of the family recently voted to get new drapes for the living room windows. I went along with the idea and even went along to help make the purchase. The surprise of the rest of the family at my acquiescence is readily explained. After more than four years of living exposed to the neighborhood because the old drapes wouldn't stretch across the whole expanse of window we are now enclosed at last That should satisfy the family desire for privacy and we can forget about a fence forever. An added bonus is that I will be able to wander into the living room in my pajamas without the whole community getting involv- ed in a discussion of their color. HIGH OIL His brother's keeper Problem solving unlikely By James Reston, New York Times commentator WASHINGTON In mid- February, most of the leading oil-producing and oil- consuming countries will hold a conference here to see what can be done about the supply, price, and distribution of fuel in the short run, and the development of nuclear energy for civilian purposes in the long run. This could be a critical and even historic meeting for all the countries concerned, but unfortunately the outlook for co-operation is bleak for a variety of reasons: 1. Almost all the major in- dustrial nations now have weak governments and grave internal political and economic problems. This is as true of Japan and the nations of western Europe as it is of the United States and Canada. 2. The major oil-producing countries of the Middle East are also divided, for while they can combine against Israel and Israel's friends, and agree on hiking up the pnce of oil, the shortrange ad- vantages of this policy hurt their chances of getting the advanced technology of the West in the coming nuclear energy age, and their price- gouging has created a terrible crisis in underdeveloped countries like India, which now faces a fuel-price hike of billion a year. 3. In these circumstances, weak and divided government with conflicting interests are in no position to enter into new co-operative efforts for the solution of the energy problem in the next decade they don't even know whether their governments can survive the pressures of 1974. The present condition of the Nixon administration il- lustrates the point. It has, in effect, offered a compromise to the oil-producing countries: lift the oil embargo and lower your prices, and the United States will help you to develop enriched uranium for use in nuclear-power reactors for the modernization of your in- dustries. The administration has also said to the other advanced technological nations: let's look beyond the present fuel shortage to the days when all nations will be depending, not on fossil fuels but on nuclear, solar and thermal energy, for this is a world problem and can be solved in the long run only by co-operative action on a worldwide scale. This was the basis of the U.S. invitation to the Feb. 11 energy conference in Washington, but there are several hitches here. First, the French government, for one, felt that Washington published the site and terms of the invitation without ade- quate consultation or preparation. More important, the Nixon administration itself is deeply divided about the wisdom of offering to share its superior nuclear scientific and technological knowledge with the other competitive industrial nations of the world. Even the public discussions of future American energy policy have confused both the Congress and the foreign of- ficials who will be meeting "here'in February. For Presi- dent Nixon has been emphasizing the need to make the United States self- sufficient in energy, and this is the objective of officials at the atomic energy com- mission, while Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger has been emphasizing the need for Letters Tired of criticism worldwide co-operation to solve the crisis and offering American nuclear skills as part of the bargain. "The United Presi- dent Nixon said last Nov. 7, "must embark upon a major effort to achieve self- sufficiency in energy, an ef- fort I call Project Independence. If successful, Project Independence would by 1980 take us to a point where we are no longer depen- dent to any significant extent upon potentially insecure foreign supplies of energy." But-Kissinger, on argued that while'the United States could with difficulty solve its energy problems by itself, Europe and Japan could not hope to do so. He suggested instead a worldwide sharing of skills and informa- tion to deal not merely with America's energy problem now but with the world's problem in the future. "As an he said, "I would cite the field of enriching uranium for use in nuclear power reactors what could be more sensible than that we plan together to assure that scarce resources are not wasted by needless duplication. The United States is prepared to make a very major financial and intellec- tual contribution to the ob- jective of solving the energy crisis on a common basis." Dreams of worldwide co- operation make good speeches, but all these governments are living from week to week. So you shouldn't expect too much from the February con- ference. It may define, but it is not likely to solve either the shortrange or the longrange energy problem. I am getting sick tired and fed up to the teeth with all the criticisms of teachers by these "instant experts" and others in the field of education who should know better. "Ex- teacher's" letter under the headline, Few sincere teachers (Jan. was the last straw. In spite of the criticisms levelled at us by members of our own school boards and regardless of Ex-teacher's diatribe, there are many hundreds of truly dedicated teachers who unstintingly give freely of their time and effort in any number of extra curricular activities. don't broadcast what we do nor do we seek favorable publicity. Even our own ad- ministrators and staff are not always aware of the myriad activities in which teachers involve themselves out of a sense of conviction or com- mittment to an ideal. The average number of students in our classes is still thirty plus and we handle five classes per day, five days per week. Our regular hours are a.m. to 4 p.m. though many of us are there at 8 a.m. and we don't leave until after 5 p.m. Our evenings are fre- quently taken up with lesson planning, research or paper marking. We have from three to five preparation or spare periods per week which are most often used to catch up on paper work, carry out further planning or running around town at our own expense gathering study materials for our programs. Each of us handles in the neighbourhood of 150 students per day with hardly tune to draw a breath between class changes. Coffee breaks and trips to the lavatory are frequently in the luxury class for many of us. When the day is ended, we are mentally and physically fatigued with yet several more hours of paper work or lesson preparation facing us at home. In spite of many years working outside the school system and a few years within it, salary wise, my milkman -and I are about on, a par. I don't resent his earnings one bit (though I am a bit envious when it comes to plumbers and electricians) and he has no particular reason to get up- set over mine. I agree with Ex-teacher that we have some duds in our ranks but so has industry It too has its share of goldbnckers and slackers of all stripes. I admit we have people in the schools who are there only for the money but where can you not find such people? Certainly there are aspects of the ATA image that could be improved upon and I readi- ly admit that its ability to communicate effectively and positively with the general public leaves a good deal to be desired. However, in this respect, ATA like all other big unions (and ATA is a union) has an image problem and a communications problem that has to be worked on I criticise Ex-teacher most severely for sticking this thing out for 35 years, taking all the profession and the ATA could give him and then, eight years later, after his very first ex- posure to the practical realities of the world outside, deciding to attack his former colleagues, his former profes- sion and the professional organization that bound them all together. Ex-teacher is away out in left field Most of us are still hard working and dedicated to the task of educating our citizens for an uncertain tomorrow. We put up with the gaff and try to ignore much of the abuse directed at us and we manage to keep our balance and try to do the best job we can under conditions of rapid change and social upheaval that cannot help but make a difficult job all the more trying. Ex- teacher's letter, though he may not have intended it so, was the last straw for my thinning patience and I cannot sit here in my cramped little study in the basement of my rented house and let him get away with it. "STILL TEACHING" Lethbridge. Teachers jolted twice Recently, the teachers of this area have been jolted no less than twice, and I sincere- ly hope they are going to show some backbone in the matter. Firstly, an old cuckoo flies in from the Crowsnest, one Mr. Hillcrest, to lay a big egg in their fat laps. He bemoaned his own teaching conditions and begrudged present-day, teachers better ones. He and his colleagues fought hard for years to establish the teaching conditions we now have. Believe me, these are far from perfect. It is our turn to fight for unproved conditions for the children, teachers and public of tomorrow. Though I am not sure we don't have them already, I sincerely hope, when it comes our turn, we do not produce too many such birds to lay such eggs. Secondly, that wiliest of human creatures came to press last week, namely the poacher. A mere medic pon- .tificated on educational psy- chology and practice: the value of corporal punishment. The number of incidents of this are so few and far between these days in the classroom that the problem is insigificant and certainly does not warrant the man hours wasted thereon. Besides, few teachers, if any, ever think of corporal punishment. This poacher has hooked a red herring. He is, indeed, the ghost of Dr. Spock; a verit- able shadow! I suppose the medics in our society would not object if I pontificated about abortion, extermination and murder. But I. being a mere layman, would never do that! I firmly believe the medic in question ought to give himself a large injection of common sense in the posterior immediately. With the odd exception, no school board member knows anything about classroom con- ditions, psychology or teaching needs. Never have most of them put their feet in- side any classrooms. Let the cuckoos and the poachers beware lest the teachers spank them! Lethbridge. LOUIS BURKE Free camp grounds It was with disbelief that I read that the provincial government was phasing out free government camp grounds. Why should the peo- ple who own this country have to pay more than they already do for the privilege of enjoy- ing it? Maybe the government should think about abolishing private campgrounds. How about stricter legislation governing these? Has Tourism Minister Bob Dowi- ing ever seen how people are rammed into most of the private grounds? Last summer we had the privilege of staying in a private campground in Lethbridge and we were crammed in so tight we could hear our neighbors breathe. Is everything in this country for the almighty dollar? I agree with a gentleman I beard on the radio who said in- stead of phasing out public campgrounds they should be improved. This would also create employment We, the taxpayers of Alberta, pay for these campgrounds and nothing should be done about, Hiss unless a plebiscite is held MRS A RITCHIE Bellevue The Lethbridge Herald -_ ____IS Atbetla HERALD CO LTD Proprietors ana PiAntvhers Second Class Man Registration No 0012 OLEO MOWERS Editor and DON M PJtUWG Managing Editor ROY F DONALD R OORAM General Manager Manager DOUGLAS K WALKER Editorial Page Editor NTON Circulation Manager KENNETH E Business Manager "This aew Hatterite colony will kill "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"