The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on January 1, 1977 · Page 40
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 40

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Saturday, January 1, 1977
Page 40
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7 CZMP Offices Closing for Lack of Funds By JEFFERY KAHN Post Staff Writer Seven South and Central Florida offices which provide services to impoverished farm workers will close as of Monday because of grant losses suffered by the Community Action Migrant Program (CAMP). "We will close all our field offices as of Monday. There'll be over 100 employes laid off," said Clark Black, CAMP director. Black said offices closing are in Boynton Beach, Belle Glade, Immokalee, Indian-town, Pompano Beach, Bartow and Lees-burg. The headquarters of the Fort Lau-derdale-based poverty agency, which had operated in 28 counties, will remain open. , "What happened," said Black, "was the U.S. Department of Labor notified us they will not reconsider their decision not to fund us in 1977. This will stop the core of our efforts because we will no longer be able to provide the short term help that farm workers need while they're involved in training and programs to get them on their feet." Among services to be discontinued, he said, are bus lines and transportation cooperatives in Belle Glade, Immokalee, the Rangeline, Indiantown and Broward County. Also discontinued will be a program to dispense food vouchers and find shelter for families that need emergency assistance which had been conducted around the state. In addition, a job placement and training program will be phased out. i "Even though the offices will be closed," Black said, "there will be staff members there to refer farm workers to other agencies where they can get help. The only type of assistance we'll be providing now will be in child care, youth services for continuing education and programs for the aged." Black estimated the Department of Labor's rejection of its $1.5 million fund request would mean the agency would be able to assist less than half the 15,000 persons it said it served during 1976. CAMP expects its 1977 budget to be about $2 mil-, lion, funds it has received or expects to receive from the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and the federal Community Services Administration.' Though Black said he was confident the Department of Labor would reconsider what he termed a "racially inspired" funding decision, latest word from the department indicated it planned to abide by findings of its auditors, who found massive problems with CAMP. In a report Black calls an effort to undermine farm worker programs, auditors document the "questionable" use of at least $370,000 in public grants during 1975. Auditors claim the agency set up dummy corporations to siphon off funds, submitted inflated travel budgets, purchased unnecessary equipment and wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars for excessive administrative fees. Black and other CAMP officials deny the findings and have requested that the Department of Labor conduct hearings to determine whether the agency defrauded the government, as implied by auditors. "We have sent more than 13,000 petitions asking the Florida congressional delegation to intercede and hold hearings on this," Black said. "All we're asking for is due process of the law, a chance to tell our side of the story and to let the public see what motivates Paul Mayrand (chief of the Department of Labor's migrant aid efforts). His inability to identify and communicate with blacks will be very evident when we get our hearings." Black said CAMP had asked federal judges in Washington to compel the Department of Labor to hold hearings. He said it would be a month before a judge acts on the agency's injunction request. The Palm Beach Post-Times Also Serving Okeechobee County News of MartinSt.Lucie SATURDAY, JANUARY 1, 1977 SECTION '76 Focus On Economy, Elections , , . -, , - , - . A r .-V Ar W 4 J - "A ' , - ' 1 , OvW , 1 - v f i w . ' v";- t ., t j W . 5... V" ' , 7 . V;: .. ,V.;f vr ' t " ' V "u v.v; - -. yr rAM 4 i ' v i ' "li i St By JOHN BARTLETT Post Start Wrlttr FORT PIERCE - The top local news stories of 1976 were a widely varied group with no sensational story dominating the others as in recent years. Unlike past years when major murder trials figured prominently, this year the attention was focused on the economy and elections. Voted top story of the year yesterday by members of the Fort Pierce Press Club and their guests was the Chamber of Commerce drive to bring more industry and jobs to St. Lucie County. This story originated in early December after a group of local businessmen toured Macon, Ga., and decided St. Lucie County needed an all-out effort to attract prosperity. At a chamber-organized meeting in Port St. Lucie, more than 200 businessmen formed committees and vowed to begin a multi-faceted program to attract new industries. The repercussions from this meeting, likely to last for years, include development of the port, industrial plans and new education programs in the schools. Next on the list were the problems and investigations of the Fort Pierce Police Department, which lasted for months and ended in December when Police Chief Vernon Christianson retired and the city hired a new police chief, Gerald Merritt. The controversy surrounding his hiring and the investigations of the department were the foremost concerns of many city residents and elected officials during the year. Many other major stories of the year also concerned the City Commission, including its successful campaign to ease the burden on taxpayers by getting the county to take over the funding of several jointly funded agencies. The City Commission was also in the news with its decision to seek an offer from Florida Power & Light Co. (FP&L) for the city power plant, a story which will stretch into the new year. The utility company was also in the news during the past year as conservationists successfully shut down for a time construction on the second unit of the nuclear plant. The first nuclear unit had to be shut down for repairs after operating for a short period. Tied into the work stoppage at the nuclear plant was a high unemployment rate locally, above 14 per cent for most of the year. St. Lucie's unemployment rate continues to be well above the national and state averages. The year saw some surprise stories such as the news that popular Mayor Ben L. Bryan Jr. wasn't going to run for election. And in the general election, School Supt. D.R. Seelinger was defeated by Principal Nolan Skinner. The year also saw a lot of new beginnings such as the long-awaited start of work on 1-95, the start of the new hospital, high school and county auditorium. ! i, "I' 1 , ' - ' (if v ! AW.. Staff Photos by Robert Bdtll Skydiver Hangs From His Parachute and Floats Gently Toward Earth " f Ws. ', -v" MS si's ;) Mil :i;.' ti "';- v'V I i W I I t v Smitty: Oldtimer Of the Air By LINDA HARBISON Post Staff Wrltor INDIANTOWN - Smitty the Jumper was in Indiantown this week for the skydiving invitational. It wound up being canceled but Smitty's time wasn't wasted. The 78-year-old skydiver, who quit jumping two years ago after an accident, probably inspired at least a few beginners to take up the sport. He did advise novice parachutists they should retire earlier than he did, but other than that, "The sky's the limit. "Parachuting is the most exhilarating sport I know of," said Henry Truesdell Smith, who'd rather be called Smitty. "And you should start early." Smitty took his first leap from an airplane in 1928. "There were 47 years between my first and my last jump," he said. "My jumping career included many falls, but I'm still standing today." A native of North Carolina, Smitty continues to travel to various skydiving meets around the country to socialize with fellow parachutists, trade information and sell copies of his life story. In 1972 he was accepted into a skydiving organization known as Parachutists Over Phorty (POP). He said he's proud to have been given the number 13 in an organization with more than 1,000 members. Smitty said when he was 18, he areamed he would parachute from a plane. "In 1928, 12 years later, I made it. It wasn't easy in those days to get a jump." A pilot friend provided the plane and a homemade chute, Smitty said, and his dream came true. "The ride down was wonderful. I yelled and played like a monkey on the end of a grapevine. "My landing was awful (and) ended a little sadly," but Smitty went on to make a career of skydiving. He told his audience in Indiantown that he's done double jumps, performed various stunts in the air and won thousands of dollars in prize money. The oldtimer said he wrote his life story, published a few years ago, "just to let skydivers of today know how really tough this sport was in the early days." fill .i . : . .; :: ;:fv In New Year's Now's the Time For Resolutions By LINDA HARBISON Pott Staff Wrlttr STUART Now that the parties are over, many county residents say they will be spending a quiet weekend sobering up, watching football games and perhaps pondering those New Year's resolutions everyone feels obliged to make. Undoubtedly, there will be resolutions to lose weight and quit smoking, both among the most common New Year's vows. More unusual resolutions voiced by those who already have given the subject some thought include reading more, drinking less, being kinder to animals and starting a new hobby. "I'm going to laugh more at my husband's jokes no matter how many times I've heard them," said one local woman who asked, please, not to be identified. "I'm never going to another New Year's Eve party with my husband," another housewife and career woman, Joyce Stiller, said with a smile. Joel Harrow, who noted he's made more trips to the Palm Beach Mall with his spouse than he cares to remember, vowed he'll "spend less time shelling out money and more time counting what I can keep in the bank." Several citizen's band radio buffs say they have resolved to cut down on the amount of time spent gabbing with fellow CBers. Many local officials questioned in connection with New Year's resolutions said they had none. "Maybe that has something to do with 1977 being an odd-numbered year," County Commissioner Maggy Hurchalla commented. Police Chief Jesse Taylor said he hoped "to have more compassion toward others" in the new year. And Port St. Lucie Mayor Schuyler Sharpe pledged to "catch every stray dog and cat, corral them and keep them off the streets." I i " if - - If tovtes Smitty Attends Indiantown Skydiving Invitational .1

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