Hope Star from Hope, Arkansas on September 30, 1974 · Page 5
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Hope Star from Hope, Arkansas · Page 5

Hope, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Monday, September 30, 1974
Page 5
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Moitday, September .10, Hdt*E sfAtt Page Fred Cowan: He provides a voice for the consumer Cowan used td write headlines; now, he makes them. • But* Cowan, 28, doesn't think of himself as making headlines. He gives the credit to the pri^ vate organization which he founded on Dec. 1, 1971 — Arkansas Consumer Research. Cowan, a former fifth grade schoolteacher in North Carolina and Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia, was a copy editor for the Arkansas Democrat when he decided to form ACR. "A friend of mine and I were talking about...the need for some kind of consumer organization that would represent the consumer interests," Cowan recalled. "That was, basically, the genesis of the idea. We went out and raised some money." Cowan opened ACR's first one-room office at Fourth and Chester Streets with a one-man staff — himself. "The first year, it was almost a haphazard organization," Cowan recalled. "I didn't really know anything about an organization like this. Money was hard to come by, and it still is. I thought after we did our first project, I could go out and raise $50,000." But Cowan found out the fund raising wasn't that easy. Today, ACR shares a house at 1919 W. Seventh St. with the Arkansas Ecology Center and has three fulltime employes and four parttime employes. Cowan said ACR's main purpose is "to provide a voice for the consumers that, in the past, have not had an organized expression." ACR is funded mostly by membership dues and contributions although, Cowan said, foundations contribute some money. "The biggest problem is identifying" the members. "Most people don't even know that we have members or that we need members. Members are the lifeblood of our organization." Members pay at least $10 annually unless they are students, who pay at least $5 annually. A lifetime membership cpsts $100. i&'&mm'ffifa& 'ACR members "renew their memberships each year and give more money each year proves there's a great need for consumer representation in this state " Members get newsletters and other booklets containing information such as "92 Ways to Save Energy" and food price comparisons. ACR's financial report for Jan. 1 - Oct. 31, 1973 showed that it got $2,300 in grants and about $4,990 in membership dues and contributions. It had about $101 on hand when the year began, Among ACR's expenditures during that period were a salary of $1,250 to its director, Cowan, and the same salary to its research associate, Jacalyn Carfagno, the report indicated. "Nobody here makes a third as much as he would at a busi- School menu Sept. 30-Oct. 4 MONDAY Char Broil Beef Pattie Lettuce, Tomato, Pickle French Fries w-Catsup Pink Apple Sauce Yellow Cake Milk TUESDAY Dry Limas w-Ham Steamed Cabbage Golden Nuggets Rainbow Fruit Cake Cqrn Bread Square Milk WEDNESDAY B.B.Q. ON Bun Scalloped Potatoes BuUered Greens Peanut Butter Brownie Milk THURSDAY Sieakelte Whipped Potatoes w-Gravy June Peas Hot Biscuit Jello Milk FRIDAY Pizza Tossed Salad W.K. Corn Banana Pudding Milk ness," feroarked Cowan. ACR apparently has spent its ftiftds wisely, it takes partialof full credit for: —the State Public Service Commission's decision to cut Arkansas Louisiana Gas Go's, proposed rate increase by several million dollars. —A toy safety survey which resulted in the Food and Drug Administration's banning of 56 toys nationwide. —A complaint against Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. that resulted in, among other things, the firm's being told to change certain deposit practices; tell residential customers of the existence of the various services and rates; inform all customers required to make a deposit that a guarantor agreement is also possible. —The state Transportation Commission's denial of a 5 per cent rate increase for intrastate fares in a 14-month period for bus companies in Arkansas. —A published survey of checking account services in 21 Arkansas banks. —Five televised shows on consumer problems during the summer of 1973 and a weekly radio show for three months. ACR now is fighting Arkansas Power & Light Co's. proposed $36.5 million rate increase and has announced the formation of the Citizens Utility Project to join the effort. Tim Holcornb, coordinator of the new organization, says the project is preparing testimony to be given at the PSC's hearings, which begin Oct. 21 on the proposed increase. ACR also is opposing the proposed constitutional Amendment 57, which would remove the 10 per cent limit on interest rates and allow the legislature to set such limits. Glen Nishimura is heading that project, and he said the problem will be "to pull out enough people to vote on this issue." "I dare say that, at this point, most people are not even aware of what the amendment says or its likely effect," Cowan recently .said,, ;;Th,e major,., effect of this amendment — there's no way to get around it — there are going to be higher interest rates." ACR also is engaged in a campaign to determine whether hard-of-hearing persons are being sold certain hearing aids unjustifiably. Another ACR project is its weekly food price survey in the little Rock area. Meredith Kumpe is food project coordinator. She prices 35 items weekly at six Little Rock supermarket stores beionglfig to three chains - Kroger» Safeway ahd Weingafleft's, that survey is published while a more extensive survey is taken for ACR's own purposes. Ms. Kumpe said she has found that prices often have varied from one store to another in the same chain. "It appears that they are trying to eliminate the discrepancies (since ACR has been conducting the survey) if for no other reason than it's embarassing," she said. "Kroger has called and made a lot of efforts to help us." ACR also supports unit pricing. Under such a system, the price per unit — per ounce, for example — Would be listed as well as the total price. This would allow a shopper to determine without dividing which brand of peanut butter, for example, is cheaper when two brands come in different sizes. Cowan and Ms. Kumpe said, to their knowledge, no store in Arkansas has unit pricing except in the areas of meat and cheese. Ms. Kumpe said ACR was looking into the* possibility of surveying supermarkets in the Fayetteville area and that anyone desiring a survey form should contact ACR. Cowan believes ACR lends balance in areas such as rate cases and food pricing by presenting the consumers' viewpoint. "Instead of all the pressure coming from one side — the industry — there's a little bit of balance — pressure comes from the other side — the consumer," he said. "I guess our main feeling overall is that as corporations gradually become larger and larger, consumers have to be more organized or they won't be protected." COFFEE DEMAND IS DECLINING NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) Kenya's coffee farmers are in trouble. Demand for coffee on •the world market is on'the decline, and prices are at a low ebb. In February Kenya coffee was selling at $170 per metric ton; two months later the price fell to $162 per ton. And the downward slide has continued. Kenya coffee is now selling at $128 a ton. Kenya earns $100 million from coffee annually. While coffee production is holding at last year's levels, Agriculture Ministry officials are worried that low prices might cause output to fall off. Henry Kissinger • "Kissinger has always been a political chameleon able to take on the coloration of his environment. Hawks ahd doves alike thought that they had found a kindred spirit in Henry." — From the book "Kissinger" by Marvin and Bernard Kalb. "The man **has been punished and faf God's sake, enough is enough!" -Sen. Hugh Scott (R- Penn.) opposing prosecution of the former President. Slain man identified WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (AP) — A man shot to death Saturday following a holdup and traffic accident has been identified as Fred New Jr., 35, of Caraway, Deputy Coroner Marvin Thompson of Crittenden County said. Deputy Sheriff Roy Akers of Crittenden County said Sunday night that New was shot in the side with a shotgun and in the neck with a pistol. New's body was found at an accident scene on Interstate 55 and the Jonesboro exit north of Marion following a two-car traffic accident in, which, both cars left the scene before officers arrived. Sheriff's deputies said one of Ihe cars r _ in the accident matched me description of a vehicle used a short time earlier by two men who robbed a service station at Marion of $175. Deputies said their initial investigation showed New probably was slain by the men responsible for the holdup and who he may have known. Akers said the investigation was continuing. And you're off and cooking with a century of quality in front of you. Save money on Roper's ranges within your range, like this model, available in avocado, goidtone, coppertone and white. *1834 ,.. 30-inch Charmette double-oven gas range with continuous-cleaning ovens • Florentine pattern black glass doors • Eye level oven • Tri-dimensional control center • Oven interior lights - Cook reminder clock/4-hour timer • Full width handles • Florescent light • Retail Price $464.95. Less Trade-In $55.00. Sale Price: $409.95. 95 on your monthly gas bill.* Includes 3% sales tax. Slightly higher where municipal'taxes apply. jj; 6O Monins - G js Appliance Purchase Plan Annual Percentage Rateol lOOO^-lnsured I9OO1. non-insured, Round up a Roper Range at one of these dealers: COLLIER FURN.& APPLIANCE YORK FURNITURE CO, HOW. 777-6738 777-2621 ARKANSAS JOUISIANA PAS CO, tu ». HIEVIY 7774776 What psopl© are saying,«, "This business about them not able to fittd a jury of peers to sit in judgment of Nixon — baloney! What's so hard about finding 12 crooks to sit iil judgment of another crook?" —Anonymous New York taxi cab driver in response to charges by former White House aides of ex-President Nixon that only a jury of former presidents could fairly judge Mr. Nixon on trial. "Women who were willing out of patriotism to come into the armed forces became suspect. We've spent 3d years trying to reverse this." -U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Mildred Q_. Bailey on women's opportunities in the military. "Boys' crimes tend to be against society or someone else. Girls' crimes tend to be against themselves." —Marguerite Lopez of the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services on the national increase and nature of crimes by juvenile girls. "The question of a former president being behind bars is personally repugnant to me but I'm also caugnt with the problem that no man should be above the law." —Sen. Lloyd Ventsen (D- Tex.) regarding the future of Richard Nixon. Carroll O'Connor "I will not work with strikebreakers. It's a matter of principle for me. 1 simply refuse to work with anybody who takes money to do a union man's job while that man is on strike." —Actor Carrol O'Connor explaining why he refused to cross a picket line of striking electrical union members at CBS studios. . .,..-H "'The United States has for 25 years been turning over to the Turkish armed forces, large quantities of modern military equipment which they, not having fought a war for 50 years, were probably itching to use." —U.S. Diplomat Charles Yost analyzing the Greek- Turk confrontation "I used to dream at night of different ways of killing him. Actors need incredible encouragement and love. They don't need to be yelled at." —Actress Jean Seberg discussing movie director Otto Preminger. Ford's sacrifice brings little response By tt. GREGOttY NOKfcS Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP) - A Catholic priest, Msgr. Law rence J. Corcoran, made one of the few offers of personal sacrl* fice at President Ford's weekend economic summit conference. Msgr. Corcoran, a delegate representing the National Con< ference of Catholic Charities, said he would accept a 10 per cent reduction in his income to help the economy if everybody else would do the'same. But it seemed that most everybody else expected somebody else to do the sacrificing. Homebuilders wanted subsidies, thrift institutions wanted incentives for more savings activity, people on welfare didn't want their programs cut, Defense Secretary James R. Schlesinger said defense spending already was cut to the bone, businessmen said price controls wouldn't work for them, labor leaders said inflation has eroded wages enough. Still there was virtually unanimous recognition by all of the 800 delegates who expressed themselves that somebody is going to have to make some sacrifice if the nation is going to come to grips with its economic problems. A major challenge facing President Pord is how to distribute the sacrifice. "Inflation strikes society unevenly,'* Ford said Saturday^ "Gdvernment must concern itself with those on whom this burden falls excessively." He promised a program in the next 10 days that will include help for the jobless and tax adjustments to help those hurt most by inflation. But how much help, and how to give it, is the second big challenge. If help for the jobless means a public service employment program, which is likely, then the money must come from somewhere. Housing and Urban Development Secretary James T. Lynn acknowledged the dilemma in talking about a proposed special program for home mortgage subsidies to help the sagging housing industry. He said the government would have to turn to the credit markets to borrow the billions that would be required, and that would result in some slight upward push on interest rates, with some inflationary consequences of its own. 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