The Morning News from Wilmington, Delaware on January 3, 1973 · 14
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The Morning News from Wilmington, Delaware · 14

Wilmington, Delaware
Issue Date:
Wednesday, January 3, 1973
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14 The Morning Newi, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 1973 Biden- Continued from Ptqi Ont that he wanted to run for the Senate the next year and he needed their help. It took chutzpah to extract endorsements in words and pictures from six Democratic senators for use in a brochure that proved to be a major breakthrough in his campaign last fall. IT wk chutzpah to get on the phone and call wealthy Democratic benefactors he did not know people like Stewart Mott. the CM. scion, and Max Palevsky, the Xerox executive and ask for a campaign contribution. And after his victory over venerable J. Caleb Boggs, it took chutzpah to try to clean up campaign debts by bring-ing in the Peter Duchin orchestra and charging $50 a head to attend a victory celebration. "There arc people willing to sell tickets." Biden said, "who wouldn't speak to me before the election." THE plans for the ball, and Joe Bidcn's immediate dreams for the future were, of course, shattered on Dec. 18 w'hen his wife. Neilia, and his 1-year-old daughter Amy were killed in a traffic accident. Since that time. Biden has maintained a vigil at the hospital bedside of his two young sons, Beau and Hunter, who were injured in the wreck. Some of the spunk has understandably gone out of his life because it was bound so closely to his wifc-a strikingly attractive and utterly charming personality-and to the rest of his family, his parents and his brothers and sisters. ''WE have very few close friends outside the family," said Neilia Biden a week be- , fore her death. And Joe Biden, ' in an earlier interview, repeatedly talked of his family unit. "I don't join much," he said "country clubs, fraternities or volunteer fire companies or things like that." So there are few outside the immediate circle who arc qualified to say how resilient Joe Biden will be. But it would seem out of character if he did not snap back quickly after he . takes the oath of office this week, and, at age 30, becomes the naton's youngest senator. It would also be surprising if he follows his announced game plan in the Senate to sit quitely and studiously for two years. IN answer to a question relayed through a staff member. Biden yesterday said his wife's death had not caused him to alter his plan "to stay relatively quiet'' until he gets his feet on the ground. One of Bidcn's closest associates said the young senator's personality is still subdued because "the time around Christmas and New Year's is a family time above all others." However, the friend said he thought Biden would "be back soon." "Right now he's only concerned with two things." the friends said. "To try to be with his children and to try to get some of his work out of the way." Biden is so determined to stay with his surviving sons that the Senate today will pass a special resolution authorizing a unique swearing-in ceremony at the hospital Friday. His staff has largely shielded him from reporters in the days since the tragedy. Before that time, he was accessible and, at times, candidly revealing in his relationship wth the press in Delaware. A day-long Interview five weeks ago included formal questions during the Metroli-ner ride to and from Washington, informal conversation during lunch at a fashionable Capitol Hill restaurant, and observations as the new senator interviewed prospective staff members. During the course of the day. Biden expounded on himself in a veritable stream of consciousness. He originally entered law school, he said, because it seemed the best way to get into politics, Bui he became so caught up with law that he briefly abandoned the idea of politics "because I thought I could be a pretty great lawyer ... I liked trial work. My hands would sweat and I'd get butterflies." den's courtroom style was flamboyant, often annoying judges and angering opposition attorneys. "I can't stand to lose," Biden said. His attitude did not endear him to many people. The kid who some classmates remembered as a ".smart ab::k" ?t ere and the University rf I'j'r.v. pp.' had grown up to become a driven young man. He took out his energies in his work and in hard-nosed games of touch football. Only after he became involved in a citizens fight against highways were these energies channeled back to politics, and then as an uncertain Democrat. WHEN he was 21, he registered as an independent. And while he was nominally active in some Democratic efforts serving as a "stamplicker" for a Democratic congressional cadnidate in Syracuse while in law schcol it was not until 19S9 that he changed his registration to Democratic. In 1970, in the midst of the battle over the widening of Silvcrside Road, a group approached him about running for the General Assembly. He turned the suggestion aside. He was asked, then, to run for county council. "To show you how astute I was, 1 said I wouldn't have time. It turned out that county council met across the street from my law-office, and at night." HE ran. He won and immediately began to attract attention. Local politicians, impressed with his appeal to young people, his campaign organization, and his good looks, began touting him for bigger things. After Superior Court Judge William T. Quillen declared himself out of the running for governor a year ago, Biden said he was approached again by a group who "offered to put $50,000 in the bank" for a campaign account if he would run for the office. "THEY promised they would raise it before I announced. I told them I wasn't interested . . . There was one office I'd rather have than any other. That was the Senate. And in terms of campaign and costs, I figured Boggs would be the easiest opponent," Biden recalled. "The guy I would have been more interested in running against would be (Congressman Pierre S.) du Pont, but I didn't think I could match money with him. I thought Boggs would do just what he did-take me for granted. The Republicans felt Boggs was invincible. But I took a look at his record and considered who voted for him, and decided he wasn't invincible." IN one of the most carefully-orchestrated campaigns in Delaware history, Bidcn-with the help of such outside experts as the Boston political consultant firm of John Mar-tilla and Associates and Harvard pollster Pat Cadell -ousted Boggs. Boggs' administrative assistant and campaign manager, Larry K. Martin said, "He kind of crept upon us." Despite Bidcn's political attacks on Boggs' record and age. Martin called it "generally a high-level campaign." An army of youthful volunteers distributed the Biden literature up and down the state to save money, but nontheless he spent upwards of $200,000 and most of the contributions came from out of the state. BIDEN' said he got no money from the state Democratic organization. His get-out-thc-vote campaign and the party's effort was intertwined, but he says he feels they owe each other nothing. There is a perceptible coolness toward Biden among some of the party chieftains. He got the nomination because no one else really wanted it. "Nobody else had the guts to run for it." Biden says, and he won when he was not expected to win. "The Democratic politicians are mad because they think: 'he owes us nothing' and that's not right," Biden says. HIS independent attitude fits into his liberal image. But Biden cautions that he is -really moderate to liberal and a" "social conservative." He warned applicants for jobs on his staff that he was opposed to such liberal shibboleths as gun control. Biden maintains that some liberals are like lemmings -"every two years they jump off a cliff." He also is critical of the change in some liberal positions. "They were interested ir. a ctrcr.g executiv whon the President was Kennedy, but now that it's Nixon they want to emasculate it. The same thing with filibusters." JOE Biden says he is more interested, as a lawmaker, in "procedure rather than substance." However, he expressed admiration for the pragmatic qualities of some of his colleagues. And when asked 1- j v : i J v ii m ... . .. Bum ill-:' jJWul. ,, , I Sen. -elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. about the conflict between his admiration for pragmatism as well as procedural rigidity, he said he really couldn't reconcile the two. When one middle-aged applicant told Biden of his hope to work for a senator who would stand up and fight for consumers, the youthful senator-elect listened with interest but told him, "I'm not going to be an activist for two years." BIDEN says he wants to cam the respect of his colleagues rather than charging off into a thiAct of issues at the outset. "I really want to be a good senator. I have avoided the national press. I know I can handle myself better on TV than probably 90 per cent of the Senate," he says, but he has limited his appearances to one on each network, turning down spots on the Tonight Show, What's My Line, and Issues and Answers. If he is cautious about the issues, the one subject over which he is ardent is, ironically, highways. "I have a vehement hatred of highway departments," Biden said, even before his wife died in a highway accident. "They seem determined to pave over Delaware," he added. HE asked one seasoned staff man from Capitol Hill, who was inquiring about a job, "Do you think a freshman senator could stop federal highway funds in his state?" The job applicant said no. "I was afraid of that," Biden said. Biden received hundreds of job applications. More than 1.500 w ithin three weeks of his election. And unlike most senators, he chose to conduct the personal interviews himself, as if to savor the fact that he was really going to become a senator. "Why do you want to work for me?" he invariably asked, and seemed to enjoy the experience of hearing himself discussed. Washington can be a cutthroat city, where political favors are bought and sold, sometimes subtly. BIDEN. about to become an innocent in a den of lobbyists Biden to take oath Friday at hospital Scn.-clrct Joseph R. Biden Jr. will be sworn in about noon Friday at Delaware Division, his office announced yesterday. Senate secretary Francis H. Valeo will administer the oath of office at the unique ceremony, which is to be authorized today by a special Senate resolution. The transfer of the ceremony to Wilmington was made necessary by Bidcn's reluctance to leave his young sons, who were injured in a traffic accident that killed Biden's wife and daughter on Dec. 18. Biden's youngest son, Hunter, who will be 3 next month, was released from the hospital yesterday. He suffered a slight skull fracture in the crash. However, Joseph III, who is known as Beau and who will be 4 next month, is expected to remain hospitalized for several more weeks because his broken left leg is in traction. A spokesman for Biden yesterday said Bidcn's sister and brother-in-law, Valerie and Bruce Saunders, will help care for the boys. The Saunders arc moving temporarily into guest quarters at Bidcn's home at North Star. Biden has shelved plans to move to Washington, the spokesman said, and instead will commute. "He wants to be with the boys as much as possible," the spokesman said. A spokesman said Biden would "likely" be administered the oath in a sun parlor on the third floor of the hospital near the rcom in which h'S two inns are staying. Although Biden is being sworn in two days later than the rest of his freshman colleagues, it is not expected to adversely affect his seniority in this year's class. A Senate official, who asked not to be identified, yesterday said Biden will he treated the same as if he had been sworn in today. Party protocol actually determines seniority, the official said, and it will be up to the Democrats to decide Bidcn's assignment. and politicians with records of intrigue longer than his life, conceded that he was concerned about the possibility of getting himself into positions where he might unwittingly accept a favor for which a vote in return could be expected. "I'll try to stay out of those situations," he said. "I can always act naive, like I didn't know it (the favor) should be returned." IN amassing his staff, Biden has picked Wcs Barthelmes, a former Washington Post reporter who has a reputation on Capitol Hill as a strong and wily staff man, as his administrative assistant. Barthelmes, 47, probably will be expected to run interference for Biden until he gathers enough experience in the mores of Washington to fend for himself. In the Senate proper, Biden holds out a hope for an assignment to the prestigious Foreign Relations Committeea rarity for a freshman and his second choice is a spot on the Judiciary, although he doubts he'll get that either. And he repeatedly insists that his first two years will be primarily a learning experience. But can Joe Biden keep quiet for two years? he was asked. "I don't know," he said. Because other men smoke and drink. Joe Biden, who does neither, talks. LOOKING ahead to 1978, Biden expects to be challenged for his job by Du Pont. "He's a tough street fighter," Biden said of the GOP congressman, not without admiration. Biden and Du Pont rode the same train that same day in late November and ran into each other in the depot, exchanging pleasantries but mentally circling each other like jungle cats. "I'm going to keep a book on him." Biden said, "because I know he's keeping one on me." "If they (the GOP) don't catch mc next time," Joe Biden said. "Then they've got problems with me." Conrad-area teachers widen battle with board By Sal Strcctt Teachers in the embattled Conrad Area School District have scored another point in one-upmanship since the district board decertified their exclusive bargaining agent Dec. 18. In response to the board's recent action to decertify the Conrad Area Federation of Teachers, several teachers in three departments have re-' signed their positions on various curriculum committees and refused to donate service beyond their regular classroom obligations. In letters to Jack II. Caum, district director of curriculum, committee members in the English, social studies and science departments stated "the undersigned teachers no longer feel motivated to donate extra time and effort (on volunteer projects) because our involvement could be construed as signifying approval of the tactics and demeanor of the board to which the body is responsible." LEON Lilly, CAFT president, said yesterday that the letters were a spontaneous reaction to the board's recent action which stripped the teachers of their exclusive bargaining agent. He said more teachers throughout the district are expected to follow suit. The teachers also won a round in the dispute with the board in Court of Chancery last Tuesday. Vice Chancellor William Marvel granted an order sought by the federation requiring the board to show why it should not be held in contempt for decertifying the bargaining agent. AT that time Marvel postponed decision on a restraining order sought by the board to dismiss the federation suit and set a briefing schedule for the two factions leading to another hearing Jan. 18 at 10:30 a.m. Though the board was following an attorney general's opinion when decertifying the CAFT, Clifford B. Hearn, CAFT attorney, claims that decertification violates a previous court order and therefore the board should be held in contempt and fined. Hearn also seeks an order preventing the board from negotiating with any other group and requiring the board to sign what he said was an oral agreement. FOLLOWING the end of the three-day teacher strike in October, the board and the teachers orally ratified a two-year contract. However, later developments over the language of a "reopencr clause" i n the contract ultimately prevented both sides from signing the document. The teachers signed their version of the contract and presented it to the board at the December board meeting. However, the board did not accept it because action to decertify already had been approved and the dispute over the "reopener" had not been settled. The reopencr dispute concerns the right of teachers to negotiate on future salaries. Barmaid sought in theft attack Wilmington detectives yesterday said a warrant has been issued for the arrest of a barmaid accused in a New Year's Eve assault and theft of two bags of money from her employer. Police identified the suspect as Sara Lee Frances, of the 600 block Walnut St. They said the victim of the assault and theft was Antoinette Conner, 30, manager of the Sans Souci, 13.10 King St. Police said Miss Conner told them the suspect had been employed at the cafe and had taken two days off. She showed up for a New Year's Eve party and after most of the people left, approached Miss Conner and demanded two weeks' pay. When Miss Conner told the woman she already had been paid, the suspect picked up two money bags and walked out the back door. The suspect returned shortly afterwards, according to Miss Conner, picked up a bottle and struck her over the head. The barmaid then left by the front door, picked up a brick and smashed the front window. St. Francis drops i i kidney during By Henry F. Davidson St. Francis Hospital closed Its chronic kidney dialysis service yesterday and transferred its kidney machine to Delaware Division. The machine is state property as is one used by the Wilmington Medical Center as part of the kidney program of the state Division of Public Health. NEARLY a year ago, when plans became firm to tear down the Clayton Building at St. Francis Hospital, the administrator, Sister William Mary, had to decide what to do about some of the specialized services in this original building until the proposed 100-bed wing was finished. Demolition will begin in the first half of this year. St. Francis has a second machine donated by friends; this will be put in storage. Several downstate hospitals have unused machines. The Health Planning Council, which helps coordinate mcdi cal services to avoid costly duplications, says one unit is Police are target . . as candidates aim at Newport image By William P. Frank A more courteous police force was one of the demands expressed last night by four of the seven candidates for Newport's town council. Newport voters will go to the polls on Monday, 2-7 p.m., to elect three at-large mem-b e r s to the five-member council. The town has a population of about 1.100 and a voting strength of about 350. Meeting at the home of Stanley Brown, of 113 E. Justis St., the four candidates last night said the Newport police force should "treat the public a lot more courteously than at present." BY its charter, Newport's council will go into closed session after Monday's election to select a mayor. Mayor Ccdrick D. Justis, a councilman for 10 years, is not a candidate for re-election. The four candidates expressed dissatisfaction with the Justis administration and agreed that "our present police force has made Newport a laughing stock throughout the state." IN addition to Brown, the other candidates at the conference were Mrs. Ellen Knowlcs. of 7 N. John St., Albert Galloway, of 15 N. John St., and George F. Sfakcr, of 109 E. Justis St. i Newport police have been criticized in recent months by nonresidents and residents alike. However, the criticism has been refuted by John C. Townsend, a councilman and Newport's police commissioner. His council term has not expired but his tenure as police commissioner will depend on who is elected mayor Monday night. THE four candidates also advocated that whomever is named town alderman should pass the tests required of state justices of the peace. The present post is held by Mrs. Emma Bullcn, appointed by Mayor Justis. The four candidates said as far as they know Mrs. Bullcn has not passed the tests. Other stands taknn hy tho four: Retention and improvement of the town water system rather than the sale of it to Artesian Water Co. Public auctions instead of closed bidding when town property is to be sold. Preparation of the town i i dialysis renovation enough for the estimated 15 chronic dialysis cases a year in the entire state. Delaware Division has a second modern machine given by Blue Cross and Blue Shield plus an older but usable one for a total of four now. DUPLICATION of dialysis programs is costly because highly trained nurses arc needed. Richard Vehslage, coordinator of the state's chronic renal disease program, says two nurses can handle a one- or two-bed service and only a third nurse is needed for up to three more beds. Hospital dialysis costs about $12,000 a year here now and up to $20,000 in other states. Dr. Robert B. Flinn, the director of the department of medicine at the medical center, says the service primarily consists of training patients and their families for home dialysis, which is about half as expensive as hospital treatment. For various reasons, some patients cannot have home dialysis and must re budget in a manner understandable to all. Negotiation of a reduced sewer tax with New Castle County Council. Amendment of the town's charter to permit the voters to decide major issues at the polls. Investment of the town's savings for specific long-term goals. More financial aid for the town's fire company. Establishment of a volun-t c e r consumers' advocate committee, independent of the town council. Council candidates not present at last night's session were Walter Kemp, Frederick A. Benoit and Abe Schulman. Housing council urges new codes, bond financing The state Council on Housing is urging the General Assembly to pass legislation permitting bond financing for state housing programs and creating statewide housing and building codes. The council said it feels both are necessary if the state is to meet its objective of helping to replace 20,000 substandard housing units and rehabilitate 8,000 deteriorating units by 1985. The council makes its rec-. ommendations in a letter accompanying its sscond annual report to the governor, the secretary of Community Affairs and Economic Development, and the General Assembly. THE council is a group of private citizens appointed to advise the state Division on Housing, directed by Robert S. Moycr. Francis R. Lore Jr. chairman of the council, said the council feels the bond method wil be most appealing to the state because it will not further burden the taxpayers. , Lore said fiscal 1972 was the most productive year the Division of Housing has had in terms of units built and occupied 458, or more than three times the number completed in the previous three years. Additionally, the end of the fiscal year saw 172 units under construction, 726 about to be started and 434 in earlier plan-ning stages. 14 separate projects had been completed a total of 585 units. OK the completed units, 426 main in the hospital outpatient program. There is one such patient now. Flinn said acutely ill pa-t i e n t s transferred from downstate hospitals usually are given peritoneal dialysis rlinlvTinfT fltiiH i run fhrnncrn. UIUM tJ.llfc 11UIU Jb. i Ull II1VU(.( the abdominal wall into the peritoneal cavity to cleanse the blood indirectly. Sister William Mary says this procedure will continue at St. Francis. She said the hemodialysis unit established iii 1967 has one chronic patient now and treats occasional transient patients. Before it was established, . most Delawareans went to Crozcr-Chester Medical Center in Chester, Pa., for their twice-or three timcs-a-weck treatments. THE medical center opened a unit in 1965 limited to treating acute cases. Its outpatient service opened last year. Sister William Mary said that when the new wing is fin-ished, the hospital will reevaluate the need for additional dialysis services in the Wilmington area. Man he,d on robbery charges A New York man is being held under $15,000 bail on charges of robbery and thrcat-e n i n g bodily harm to a woman. . Ali A. Akabar, 31, was arrested Monday by Wilmington detectives. Akabar was staying in a sec-' ondfloor apartment in the 2100 block Pine St. He is charged with taking $97 at-gunpoint from Samuel and Theresa Downey, of the same address. Akabar fled, but at 11:30 Monday morning detectives were informed that he had returned and allegedly was holding as hostage Carol' Wright, occupant of the apartment. Detectives obtained a key to t h c apartment from Miss Wright's parents. Detectives arrested Akabar without a struggle and confiscated a gun. are in Wilmington, 78 in Dov-. er, 83 in Milford, and one in Rchoboth. Under construction. nrp Rt in U'ilminfTfnn find 01 inr Seaford. 259 arc about to be started in Wilmington, 44 in Dover, 98 in Laurel and 80 in lUinsDoro. Observers said they feel the record is particularly remarkable because the division had less money for staff this past year than in previous years. For fiscal 1973, its budget is $86,106, $5,806 more than in. 1972. For fiscal 1971, the budget was $112,166 which the' council pointed out in its last annual report was less than the amount the state spends annually to clean litter from the highways. Its best year was fiscal 1970 when it had $125,115. IN fiscal 1972, the full state revolving loan fund for housing - $8 million - was committed, and as of June 33, $7.8 million had been lent to nonprofit developers. About $525,000 had been repaid, leaving about $5.7 million due and a balance in the fund of almost $2.3 million. The division has a $17.7-million backlog of requests, the report states. Lore estimated that an annual expenditure of $40 million win dc requirea to meet the states annual housing goals, which level off in 1978 to 1,653 new units and 700 rehabilitated. Lore said the money can be raised through bonds, as is done In a number of other states. i

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