Tucson Daily Citizen from Tucson, Arizona on February 10, 1976 · Page 17
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Tucson Daily Citizen from Tucson, Arizona · Page 17

Tucson, Arizona
Issue Date:
Tuesday, February 10, 1976
Page 17
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Editorials Ofocson Bailn Classified TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 1976 PAGE 19 Cilizen Photo by P, K. Weis Wo Greater Love' Air Force Col. Robert W. Barnett, one of three former prisoners of war who visited patienls at the Veterans Administration Hospital here last night, greets Ezra Faulkner, one of the patients honored in the "No Greater Love" program, a national salute to hospitalized veterans. Barnett joined two other former POWs, Maj. John H. Alpers and Lt. Col. Joseph F. Shanahan, in visiting with the patients last night. Others taking part in the program at VA Hospital were members of the University of Arizona basketball team, the 36th Army Band from Ft. Huachuca, Fred Rhoads, originator of the "Sad Sack" cartoons, and Tucson Campfire Girls. HUD leaves dispute South Tucson work okayed By SHERYL KORNMAN Citizen Staff Writer A federal agency has bowed out of a controversy smoulder- ing for two months in South Tucson over reports of alleged mismanagement of federal funds for a park and a low- cost housing project. Officials from the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) regional office in Los Angeles had been checking into reports that South Tucson may have violated terms of a federal contract for a community park project. They also had questioned spending practices of the South Tucson Housing Authority. When some of those practices were investigated last month the authority's director, Thomas M. Wicar, was fired by the South Tucson Housing Commission. Roland E. Camfield, HUD's Los Angeles area director, met with South Tucson's top elected officials here last week and issued a statement afterward, saying his office is no longer concerned with either issue. Camfield said South Tucson completed its work on the park at 1625 S. 3rd Ave. "in compliance and in accordance with" provisions of the contract it held with HUD. He also declared at a joint news conference here that federal programs in South Tucson "are not and have not been under investigation" by HUD. He denied earlier reports that a $76,000 federal community development grant South Tucson has been expecting was delayed while some HUD officials considered reviewing the management of other federal programs in South Tucson. The $76,000 "will be forthcoming," he said. Regarding criticism by top South Tucson officials of the housing authority's fiscal practices, Camfield said HUD "has no say in local matters regarding the authority," including personnel decisions. Wicar has appealed to HUD's Los Angeles office to help him in a bid for reinstatement. An independent review of the housing authority's financial records ordered by South Tucson Mayor Dan Eckstrom spurred the start of a federal audit of the agency two weeks ago. A routine, biennial audit of the housing authority was due last July. It had been delayed, Camfield explained, because South Tucson was a low-priority area. Slides kill two TIJUANA, Mexico (UPI) -Mud slides have swept away 40 shanties, constructed mostly of cardboard, wood and flattened tin cans. A mother and her infant son were killed. Council told labor will remember pay deal Organized labor will re member City Council members who reneged on a pay raise agreement with policemen and firemen, says Darwin Aycock, executive secretary-treasurer of the Arizona AFL-CIO Aycock, speaking to the Democrats of Greater Tucson yesterday, accused Tucson politicians of playing a shortsighted game with policemen and firemen. "The AFL-CIO will be here a long time," Aycock said. "And we will remember those who are taking out after our brothers and sisters on the police and fire departments." To end a six-day strike for higher wages by policemen and firemen in September, city officials and representatives of the strikers agreed on a pay raise package. The in- creases later were lowered by a majority of the City Council. Aycock said that despite an AFL-CIO resolution supporting any person's right to strike and withhold labor, the Arizona AFL-CIO is pushing for a mandatory arbitration law governing public em- ployes. "I wasn't for mandatory arbitration, but they (public employe groups) came to us and asked our support and said they wanted it." The labor leader predicted that within 10 years Arizona will have a collective bargaining law for public employes and that public employes would be organized. Citizen Photo by Bill Hopkins Valuable trash Bob Jones, general manager of Consolidated Fibers lac., MS S. Freeway, is flanked by a heap of used newspapers baled for shipment to a recycling plant in northern Arizona. Business has picked up, he said. Recycled pope] Tucson newspaper readers are throwing away thousands of dollars every year when they commit their daily editions to the trash can. "We are getting probably only 30 to 40 per cent of the newsprint that is available here. There's a lot of money just going to the dumps," says Bob Jones, general manager of Consolidated Fibers Inc. You won't get rich selling your used newspapers to Consolidated or the LERN Co. -Tucson's two recycling operations -- but it's a lot more profitable than it was last year. Consolidated is paying $20 a ton for newsprint, five times the going price of about a year ago. LERN's price is $10, down $5 in the last month in a market that fluctuates like a Wall Street commodity. At a penny a pound it would take a lot of newspapers -- which average 8 to 10 ounces each here -- to make your fortune. But that's not the point, as far as Fletcher Strickler, vice president of LERN (Let's Each Recycle Now), is concerned. "Far more important are the ecological and environmental aspects," he said, pointing out that recycling saves trees and space now used to bury the papers. Recycling is also an economic boon through creation of a new industry. LERN pays for newspapers delivered to its plant at 2100 E Beverly St. This is in the interest of operating a business. But it also will pick up used newspapers, in which case the company charges a nominal fee. For $12 a year the firm's trucks will make monthly pickups at residences. "These are the hard-core environmentalists," explained Strickler, "not the people interested in making a few dollars. We have between 500 and 600 subscribers." Most of the newspapers delivered to both companies are through organized efforts of schools, churches, boys' clubs and other groups with environmental motives. They also get paid for their efforts. Strickler said LERN collects about 50 tons of newspapers a month, a fraction of the money more than 1,000 tons distributed monthly by Tucson's two major papers. The company also collects papers deposited at E. 5th St. and N. Tyndall Ave. in a bin operated by the Coalition of Arizona Students for the Environment. Part of Consolidated's supplies come through newspapers deposited in bins of Mobile Meals of Tucson Inc., which profits from the environmental conscience of Tucsonians. These bins are at Casa Blanca Shopping Center, 6000 N.'Oracle Road; East Side City Hall, 7575 E. Speedway Blvd.; Green Valley Shopping Center; Palo Verde Plaza, 22nd St. and Kolb Road; San Clemente Shopping Center, Alvemon Way and Broadway; Southgate, E. 44th and S. 6th Ave.; and the shopping center at Ft. Lowell Road and Dodge Blvd. Consolidated estimated its Tucson plant collected, sorted, decontaminated, baled and shipped 1,000 tons of old newspapers during the last six months of 1975, during which the market price nearly doubled. "Business has picked up maybe 50 per cent since the price has been rising," Jones said. Mayor sour on water fee plan By THOM WALKER Citizen Staff Writer Tucson may have found its long-awaited growth "master plan" in a proposal for an average 29 per cent water rate increase, combined with a $470 hookup charge for new homes, says Mayor Lewis C. Murphy with a strong tone of sarcasm. "We've got our Comprehensive Plan right here," Murphy said unhappily, brandishing a copy of a "revised" report on Tucson's six-year water outlook by John Carollo Engineers. Details of the report, which recommends a "cost of delivery" rate system with increased charges by as much as 200 per cent for some customers, were outlined at a City Council study session. Revamped since its initial release last week, the proposed rate structure now includes a $470 hookup charge for new Metropolitan Utilities Management Agency (MUM) water customers to buffer the impact of huge expansion costs projected for the next six years. "You talk about growth or no-growth -- this settles it," Murphy .said. "If we do what you say, we either can't let any more people move in, or we'll make it so they can't move in," He added, "The problem is, people out there can't stand higher rates." The proposed rate structure combines a minimum service charge based on the cost of pumping water to homes, and a second charge based on the amount of water used. Minimum charges would follow a stairstep structure ranging from $3.55 inside and around the fringes of Tucson's city limits, up to $20.80 for high foothills homes. A Tucson home using about 15,000 gallons of water a month would pay $13.65 under the new system, compared with $8.04 now -- around a 70 per cent increase. With the end of the present split-billing system for county residents, a home just outside Tucson would see only an 11 per cent increase for that amount of water. But for homes in the foothills -- where the cost of pumping increases with the slope -- the monthly bill would soar -- as much as 200 per cent higher for 5,000 gallons, and double for 15,000 gallons, from $15.62 now to $30.90. The proposed $470 "system development charge" for new customers is designed to absorb 16 per cent of MUM's higher costs. By putting the burden of water system expansion costs on new customers, the charge would help pay for an estimated $111 million in improvements that will be needed by 1982, according to he plan. Much of the increased costs are expected to come from a shift in pumping operations away from the south Santa Cruz basin, where water ta- bles are said to be falling at a rate of one foot per month. Jerry Wright, MUM's chief hydrologist, said Tucson may dry up 30 per cent of its current water sources by 1980, unless it develops new wells and pipelines to exploit largely untapped supplies in the Avra Valley. According to Frank Brooks, MUM executive director, the agency will need a 20 per cent increase in revenues this year just to pay its bills -- which include a $2.3 million boost in pumping costs resulting from higher electrical rates. Along with the higher water rates and new charges, the consultants advised the council to consider "passing through" future increases in power costs to MUM customers. Without its own rate increase, MUM would have to declare an "immediate moratorium" on new water hookups, Brooks warned. The council agreed to set aside a full-day study session in the next two weeks to consider alternatives to the suggested rates. Panel awaits Nixon answers WASHINGTON ( U P I ) -The Senate I n t e l l i g e n c e Committee expects Richard M. Nixon to complete sworn answers to 77 questions before he takes off for a visit to China next week. The Committee, chaired by Sen. Frank Church, D-Idaho, wants to get Nixon's version of intelligence operations during his administration, including U.S. intervention in Chile and the abortive "Huston Plan" he ordered in 1970 to disrupt dissident groups in the U.S: by illegal wiretapping, mail openings and surveillance. Merits of national health insurance challenged D*i IH7DUT7DT' CTT1KT . i · - ... _ ^*"- ' By HERBERT STEIN At the beginning of each year the President's Council of Economic Advisers publishes a report, the result of much labor, on the American economy. The report normally runs from 150 to 200 pages and has a statistical appendix of about 100 pages. From all this material the daily press extracts a small part, essentially that dealing with the general economic forecast for the coming year. But the public at large hears little about the remainder. things economists do least well. Second, there is a large part of the American public, possibly a majority, to whom the short- term fluctuations in the economy are not the question of major importance. Their likelihood of ever being unemployed is small, and they can count on their incomes at least keeping up So it has been this year. Front-page newspaper stories and lead television news items reported the council's forecast of a moderate, steady economic recovery. Total output would rise 4 tons OI pot found by 6 per cent to 6^ per cent from 1975 to 1976, the unemployment rate will fall by about one percentage point -- to about 7/2 per cent -- and prices would rise about 6 per cent. This focusing on the short-term forecast is natural. But beyond some point the concentration on it, and the neglect of other aspects cf the economic situation covered by the report, is unfortunate, for several reasons. SAN FRANCISCO (UPI) -A fishing boat with four tons of marijuana in its hold was seized and two men were arrested w h e n . the Coast Guard chased the vessel and boarded it about five miles off Point Arena. First, as a former member of the Council of Economic Advisers said recently, short-term forecasting is one of the with inflation over any reasonable period of time. Third, there are many other significant questions on which the report is informative. A leading example in this year's Economic Report is the discussion of the economics of health care. National health insurance continues to be a hot national issue. It is apparently possible to get a cheer from almost any audience by declaring that we are devoting inadequate resources to medical care and that the poor particularly are suffering excessive illness and mortality as a result. But the amount of hard information known on this subject is pitifully small. Among the points made by the report are the following: --Expenditures for medical care in the United States were 10 times as high in 1975 as in 1950, while prices had little more than doubled. Medical expenditures rose from 4.5 per cent of the gross national product to 8.3 per cent. -- In 1975 only 8 per cent of hospital expenditures were paid for directly by patienls. All the rest were paid for indirectly by private insurance or by public programs, such as Medicaid and Medicare. More than 40 per cent of all health expenditures were paid for by government. --In the most recent study of the United States and Sweden (1964) the percentage of persons who saw a doctor when they had a symptom of sickness was the same in the United States as in Sweden, where there was national health insurance. --In 1971 the percentage of Americans who saw a doctor when they had a symptom was about the same for the lowest income group as for the highest income group (52 per cent and 54 per cent respectively). --Per capita medical expenditures incurred for poor persons in 1970 were 90 per cent as high as the expenditures incurred for those who were not poor. However, the poor paid a much smaller fraction of their costs themselves. --Comparisons among states and countries show only a slight relation between per capita health expenditures and length of life. In some cases the relation is negative. Per capita health expenditures are about 10 times as high in the United States as in Greece, but the average life-span is longer in Greece. --Improved living habits, for example with respect to eating, drinking, smoking and exercise, could have a major effect on the health of the American people. The Council of Economic Advisers is cautious about drawing conclusions from such facts. However, these facts do suggest that national health insurance is not the best way to improve the national health. And if that is the case, new taxes to finance such insurance are certainly not the best way to improve the economy's health. Herbert Slein was chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers from 1972 until "September of 1*74. He now is professor of economics at the University of Virginia. Stein's column appears regularly in the Tucson Dally Citizen. Copyright U7I

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