The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on January 7, 1986 · Page 14
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 14

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, January 7, 1986
Page 14
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The Salina Journal Tuesday, January 7,1986 Page 14 IRS tries to avoid snafu of last year WASHINGTON (AP) - The Internal Revenue Service, striving to avoid a repeat of last year's disastrous processing backlog and preparing for 103.4 million individual tax returns this year, advised taxpayers Monday: "Don't panic. Read the directions." For its part, the agency promised that employees who deal directly with the public will be less cranky, more phone lines will be available, taxpayers will be able to call the IRS and determine whether their returns have been received and IRS answers to tax questions will be as accurate as possible. IRS officials stopped short of promising that the processing problems that plagued the agency in 1985 — and that delayed millions of refund checks — will not be repeated. But, according to Fred Perdue, director of returns processing, "1986 will be substantially different — substantially improved" when compared with last year. The IRS has expanded its computer capacity and stepped up employee training, Perdue said, conceding that in 1985, "we were woefully understaffed" in the 10 service centers where returns are processed. This year, he said, more people will be processing returns and that will mean a lighter load on each worker — reducing chances that returns will be put aside or destroyed because of work backlogs. "I always worry about everything," Perdue said. "That's why I said I hoped" — rather than promised — that 1986 will be better, he added. Most of the processing problems last year were blamed on an inability to adjust to a new computer system in the service centers. Perdue and other IRS officials said taxpayers can help avoid a processing snafu b," using the pre-addressed label on their returns and by double- checking their work. "Don't panic. Read the direc- tions," advised Phil Russo, assistant IRS director for taxpayer services. After filling out the return, put it aside. "Then go back again to it the next day ... That will eliminate most errors." The label should be used to avoid listing a wrong Social Security number, Perdue said. If the number stored in the IRS computers does not match the one on the return, the return will be sent back to the taxpayer for correction, delaying any refund. About two of every 10 tax returns filed last year required some type of error correction. The great majority of those mistakes were simple mathematical errors, Russo said, such as writing down the wrong figure from the tax table. For the most part, the tax forms to be used this year are unchanged, although there are several relatively minor changes designed to make it more difficult to cheat. For example, a person who claims he or she paid alimony — which would cut their taxes — must list the name and Social Security number of the ex-spouse who received it. That will make it easier for the IRS to see that the recipient pays taxes on the alimony. By mid-March, the IRS hopes to have in operation a system that allows a taxpayer to call and determine whether his or her return has been received. This year, a person will have to speak to a worker in one of the taxpayer-service offices around the country to get that information. But in the future, the agency hopes to be able to connect the taxpayer, through a toll-free telephone number, to a computer to get a direct answer. Because of the delays in processing returns last year, IRS offices were swamped with so many telephone calls that millions of them went unanswered. Another 42 million were answered. College offers help to struggling farmers SPRINGFIELD, 111. (AP) Farmers helped build Lincoln Land Community College amid central Illinois' rolling acres of corn and soybeans, so the school is trying to repay them by offering free courses to help them cope with hard times. The college is waiving farmers' i tuition this s P ri for courses in financial management and planning and stress management, as well as job-oriented classes such as Poorman data processing and automotive technology. "I saw the college really put together by rural folks, and a lot of farm folks in our district have been paying a lot of taxes (toward the school)," said Robert Poorman, president of the 18-year-old school. "This program is a farmer's return on in vestment." The program was suggested last month by Philip Bradley, a member of the college's board of trustees. A self-described "city boy," Bradley said his grandmother lives on an Illinois farm that has been in the family since the 1830s. "We'd been talking about the problems of the rural community," Bradley said. "It just struck me that there are a great many people who are being forced off the land who need retraining. We're doing it for the industrial sector and we need to do it for the agricultural sector." Lincoln Land, which serves a 3,400- square-mile territory in the heart of the state's farm belt, also is retraining displaced workers from a Fiat- Allis truck plant that closed here last year. Lincoln Land is the only Illinois community college to offer a retraining program for farmers who continue to farm, said Ivan Lach, a spokesman for the Illinois Community College Board. Some schools offer financial assistance to farmers who have left agriculture and qualify as dislocated workers, he said. Tuition waivers will save farmers $23.75 per credit hour, the school's standard fee. Books and materials also will be available to farmers at no cost. The tuition-waiver offer has only drawn a few inquiries since it was announced last week, Poorman said. "It's still worth it to assist the people who are interested," he said. "I've talked to five people so far, and maybe that's the end of it. But (tomorrow's) another day." School officials declined to release the names of any farmers who expressed interest in the courses. John White, president of the 320,000-member Illinois Farm Bureau, called the program "a very laudable approach." "This exemplifies the fact that there is a real need for retraining," White said. "There's a lot of desire to assist the agriculture community in this time of stress." In the long run, Poorman said, Lincoln Land "is saying to the young fanners, 'If you want to continue to be a farmer you may want to look at the possibility of training in another area.' " SuSu, a 9-year-old Capuchin, helps her handicapped master, Louis Corvese, perform tasks he can no longer do himself. Photos by AP Monkey's business is helping man CRANSTON, R.I. (AP) - SuSu has been an inseparable companion for nearly four years to Louis Corvese, bringing him drinks and food, books and cassette tapes that his paralysis prevents him from getting for himself, and turning on and of f his lights and heater. SuSu is a 9-year old capuchin monkey, one of only seven in the world trained to help the handicapped in the same way that guide dogs serve the blind. "I was scared at first. Now there's a bond between us," Corvese says. "To me she's more like a normal person than an animal. What she does for me makes me appreciate her more and more." In return for what SuSu does for him, Corvese, 30, paralyzed from the chest down in a 1976 car crash, provides affection, food and a place for the monkey to hang by her powerful tail. SuSu chirps with delight as Corvese grips her cage handle with his teeth and sets her free. She explodes from behind bars and jumps in a flash of fur from Corvese's wheelchair to her favorite spot on a table by a window. Corvese wrenches his head so his mouth can aim a tiny red light pointer attached to his wheelchair. He points the light at a small refrigerator and starts putting his friend and helper through her paces. "Push, SuSu. Push," he commands. She obeys by opening the refrigerator door. "Good girl. Good girl. Change, SuSu. Change," Corvese says. SuSu reaches in and pulls out a plastic water bottle. SuSu brings the bottle to a table, spins off the cap and drops in a straw. SuSu rides on Corvese's wheelchair. But before she brings it to Corvese, SuSu seeks a reward. Corvese blows into a tube connected to a plastic bottle on his wheelchair and out flow a few drops of orange juice. SuSu laps them up. Finished, she vaults back to the table and brings Corvese his water. "Good girl. Good girl," he says. She purrs, puckers up and kisses him. Because she sometimes misbehaves, a har- ness that can be strapped to her rump allows Corvese to send out a warning tone or a slight shock to show his displeasure. SuSu could have been trained to do housecleaning and other jobs for Corvese, but that was unnecessary because he lives in his parents' converted garage in this middle-class suburb of Providence. One thing Corvese wishes SuSu could do is feed him his favorite food, potato chips. But he's sure SuSu, who is toothless to prevent her from biting people, would keep them for herself. "She'd take 100 for every one I got," he jokes. Corvese's involvement with SuSu began after he heard a news report about the use of monkeys to help the paralyzed. Excited by the prospect, he got in touch with a pioneer in the field, Dr. M.J. Willard of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. "SuSu and Louie certainly have a very close relationship," Willard said. She said a new program about to begin in Israel should increase the number of monkeys available to help the handicapped. The monkeys take six months to train and cost about $8,000, roughly the same amount as a guide dog for the blind, she said. But she points out that an advantage over dogs is the monkeys' life expectancy of about 30 years, which greatly pleases Corvese. "We're inseparable," he says. "When I come back after I'm away for any period of time she'll jump right on my shoulder, wrap her tail around my neck and start purring. "And I'm just as happy to see her," Corvese says. Bills remain unpaid from lavish wedding WASHINGTON (AP) - Money appeared to be no object in September for Carol Reed Hoekstra whose lavish wedding for her 23- year-old daughter included $50,000 worth of fresh flowers, 60 limousines, six Greek statues and rock and mariachi bands. But some of the area vendors hired to put on the wedding for Tami Rose and her husband, Juan Jose Rocha of Mexico City, said Monday that they still are owed money by Hoekstra, a Lake Forest, 111., resident. In Chicago, a clerk confirmed that the James B. Downing Co., a firm which operates lactose and animal feed production plants and is owned by Hoekstra, filed Nov. 4 for protection under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy law, which provides time to try to reorganize. Estimates of the cost of the Hoekstra-Rocha wedding Sept. 21 have ranged from $250,000 to $500,000. Alice Conway, head of Entertainment America, a music booking firm, said she received in advance most of the money due her from Hoekstra. Conway, who arranged for the wedding music and helped give tours for out-of-town guests, said the 425 people who were invited started arriving four days before the wedding, which was more than six months in the planning. A rock band and a mariachi band, provided entertainment for guests. Supreme Court case pits county against First Amendment L KENMORE, N.Y. (AP) - A case involving an adult bookstore that a county prosecutor says has sheltered peep shows and sexual activities could provide the U.S. Supreme Court with an opportunity for a significant ruling about First Amendment rights, lawyers involved in the case say. Erie County District Attorney Richard J. Arcara says he's tried for three years to close Village Books & News, where an undercover police officer said he was propositioned and saw sexual acts performed several times over eight days in September and October 1982. Village Books is one of a row of stores, located between a card shop and a tailor, set on one of Buffalo's main thoroughfares near the city line. Inside, the store is divided into three rooms. The front room, housing general-circulation newspapers and magazines, leads, through a door, into a second room, a well-lit area with racks of pornographic videos, magazines and various sexual paraphernalia. A back room contains booths where for a quarter patrons can watch sexually explicit films. "One need be no visionary to recognize that the magazine rack in the doorway of a brothel may well be marketed as the insurance policy against court-ordered closure," Arcara wrote in asking the Supreme Court to overturn a June ruling by New York's highest court keeping the bookstore open. The attorney for the bookstore's owner, Cloud Books Inc., of Cleveland, says closing the bookstore would violate the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment protection of free speech and is akin to "burning down a house to light a candle.'' The Supreme Court, which agreed Nov. 12 to review the case, is expected to hear arguments in March. The state Court of Appeals, New York's highest court, ruled that sexual activity allegedly observed at the store could be banned as a public nuisance under state public health laws. However, with Chief Judge Sol A. Wachtler writing for the majority, the court also ruled that Arcara could not shut the store for one year as the public health law provides. The closure in that event would represent an impermissible "prior restraint" of the owner's free-speech rights, Wachtler wrote. Even though some would argue that closing the bookstore is "the most efficient remedy" to the public nuisance, it is still no excuse for abridging free speech, Wachtler wrote. No indictments on the criminal allegations developed from the undercover work were issued, according to court documents, and no assertions have been made that the material sold at the bookstore is obscene. "The question here is whether the alleged sexual activity is incidental, secondary, minor, to the bookstore's main activity," said Benno C. Schmidt Jr., dean of Columbia University Law School, "or if the illegal activities are an integral part of the whole operation." "If it's part and parcel of the whole operation, I don't think the First Amendment should be split up and applied to protected and unprotected parts," of the store, said Schmidt, who is an expert on the First Amendment. Attorney Paul J. Cambria Jr., who has represented Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt and Screw magazine publisher Al Goldstein in successful First Amendment defenses, is Arcara's adversary in the case. Arcara, Cambria and Schmidt agree that the case is intriguing because it provides the Supreme Court with a chance to define the limits of protection afforded by the First Amendment. "The First Amendment really is designed to protect those aspects of expression that need protection because they are controversial," said Cambria. "It's designed not only to protect Renoirs, it's designed to protect the pages of Playboy magazine." However, Cambria said, "if the Supreme Curt is hellbent on further restricting First Amendment rights, they will find some way to say this bookstore should not be open." He called the New York ruling a • "reasonable, common sense" one. Cambria, who said his client, strongly opposes sexual activity in its stores, said Arcara's argument about brothels hiding behind book racks, "is a dimwitted argument, but it's catchy..." Without agreeing with the undercover investigator's allegations, Cambria said that what the officer said he saw in that back room probably happens in other public places in Buffalo, such as legitimate movie theaters. Under Arcara's interpretation of what should be done about a public nuisance, those, too, should be closed, Cambria said. "But the D.A. would never do that ... the D.A. is using this law to achieve his real goal, which is to close down the bookstore," Cambria said.

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