The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 18, 1996 · Page 12
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 12

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Salina, Kansas
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Friday, October 18, 1996
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BZ FRIDAY. OCTOBER 18, 1996 THE SALINA JOURNAL George B. Pyle editorial page editor Opinions expressed on this page are those of the identified writers. To join the conversation, write a letter to the Journal at: P.O. Box 740 Salina, KS 67402 Fax: (913) 827-6363 E-mail: SalJournal @aol.com Quote of the day "If there is nostalgia years from now, it won't be for us." Garrison Keillor host of public radio's 'A Prairie Home Companion,' writing in The New York Times Magazine By GEORGE B. PYLE / The Salina Journal Knowing our limits TK ISSUE Development of south Salina THE ARGUMENT Retail growth belongs within city limits I f it looks like a city, sounds like a city and is paved like a city, it should be a city. That is why it is good news that the owners of two choice pieces of ground at the south edge of Salina are, or will be, seeking to have their properties brought into the city limits as they develop. Norman Riffel owns 19 acres at the southwest corner of Schilling Road and Ninth Street. As the city has grown his way, it has become clear that the land will be more profitable as a site for restaurants, hotels and gas 'n' goes than its current use as home to a moving company. Part of Eiffel's development plan is to petition the city to annex his land and provide it with city services. The Salina Planning Commission approved that idea Wednesday. Darrell Hills, who owns 18 acres just beyond Riffel's, has similar plans. Both developments are logical, or at least inevitable, given the explosion of south Salina. The fact that both men want to do business with, and within, the city speaks well of-all involved. Future developers, however, may not be so far-thinking. The city and the county should start now to establish a policy requiring any significant commercial development to be within city limits. Existing limits if possible, expanded limits if not. The city is better able than the county to serve and control the commercial growth that, barring an economic tailspin, will occur in our community. If commercial development is restricted to the city's jurisdiction, there is a better chance that that public services will be able to keep up with demand and that projects will neither fall between bureaucratic cracks nor escape reasonable regulation. More than anything, the community must not encourage developers who are less responsible than Riffel and Hills to take the cheap way out by evading city building codes, city development regulations and, most important, city taxes. Any retail business that sets up shop near Salina will only be profitable because it is near Salina. Its customers will be attracted by the city, will drive on its streets, may even call upon its police or fire department. It is the city of Salina and the investment its taxpayers have already made that give this property its commercial value. That contribution must be repaid by making sure that all such businesses pay the same city property tax and city sales tax that their competitors and most of their customers pay. Developments that do otherwise will take without giving, and that's not the kind of growth we need. LETTERS TO THE JOURNAL P.O. BOX 740, SALINA, KANSAS 67402 United Way helps us care for each other The annual Salina Area United Way campaign is underway. The campaign theme "Together, we're building a better community" accurately captures the true spirit of this community event. Amidst the political debates of our day, the local United Way mission statement "To better enable people to care for one another" provides a common ground for all concerned about our community's future. To further assure that contributions to the United Way directly impact local needs, experienced volunteers have placed a priority upon programs that: 1. Nurture children and youth. 2. Strengthen families and individual well-being. 3. Increase self-sufficiency. 4. Rebuild lives in times of emergency or disaster. 5. Promote lifelong independence for seniors and persons with disabilities. 6. Foster health and wellness. 7. Enhance community resources. This community's United Way 'contributions help fund 57 local agency programs, venture grants and community initiatives which are specifically designed to meet these worthy challenges. Local volunteers from all walks of life have spent hundreds of hours carefully evaluating these programs to be sure the contributions are used wisely. The Salina Area United Way Board of Directors, after carefully considering the recommendations of those volunteers, has set a 1996 campaign goal of $1,019,000 — an increase of 3.2 percent over last year. The Salina Area United Way philosophy is quite simple: • Local volunteer efforts keep fund raising and administrative costs at a minimum. • Scrutiny of programs and budgets by local volunteers assures efficient and effective use of contributions while adding value to the community beyond the agencies' individual efforts. Through this one unified campaign, local human service programs receive the support they need to help countless numbers of our friends and neighbors in times of need. Be assured that this community's contributions are put to work locally, with only 0.7 percent of the dollars collected locally going to United Way of America in exchange for training and other services of a far greater value. I want to thank those who contributed to the United Way last year, assure them that their gifts are hard at work this very moment, and invite them to participate again. I also invite those who have not participated in previous United Way campaigns to participate this year with an expression of their care and concern. Through the annual campaign the Salina Area United Way strives to formally invite as many Salina area residents as possible to participate. Those reached through this letter who would like to participate may either write to the Salina Area United Way, P.O. Box 355, Salina, KS 67402-0355 or call (913) 827-1312. —.GREG A. BENGSTON Salina • Greg A. Bengston, a Salina attorney, is 1996 campaign chairman of the Salina Area United Way. HE'LL SUE US! ABROAD AT HOME Clinton has sorry record on civil rights The president allows courts to be stripped of their power to protect us from government B ill Clinton has not been called to account in this campaign for the worst aspect of his presidency. That is his appalling record on constitutional rights. The Clinton years have seen, among other things, a series of measures stripping the courts of their power to protect individuals from official abuse * — the power that has been the key to American freedom. There has been nothing like it since the Radical Republicans, after the Civil War, acted to keep the courts from holding the occupation of the South to constitutional standards. The Republican Congress of the last two years initiated some of the attacks on the courts. But Clinton did not resist them as other presidents have. And he proposed some of the measures trampling on constitutional protections. Much of the worst has happened this year. Clinton sponsored a counterterrorism bill that became law with a number of repressive features in it. One had nothing to do with terrorism: a provision gutting the power of federal courts to examine state criminal convictions, on writs of habeas corpus, to make sure there was no violation of constitutional rights. The Senate might well have moderated the T TORY NOTIONS ANTHONY LEWIS The New York Times * habeas corpus provision if the president had put up a fight. But be broke a promise and gave way. The counterterrorism law also allows the government to deport a legally admitted alien, on the ground that he is suspected of a connection to terrorism, without letting him see or challenge the evidence. And it goes back to the McCarthy period by letting the government designate organizations as "terrorist" — a designation that could have included Nelson Mandela's African National Congress before apartheid gave way to democracy in South Africa. The immigration bill just passed by Congress has many sections prohibiting review by the courts of decisions by the Immigration and Naturalization Service or the attorney general. Some of those provisions have drastic retroactive consequences! For example, Congress in 1986 passed an amnesty bill that allowed many undocumented aliens to legalize their presence in this country. They had to file by a certain date, but a large number said they failed to do so because improper INS regulations discouraged them. The Supreme Court held that those who could show they were entitled to amnesty but were put off by the INS rules could file late. Lawsuits involving thousands of people are pending. But the new immigration law throws all those cases — and individuals — out of court. Another case, in the courts for years, stems from an attempt to deport a group of Palestinians. Their lawyer sued to block the deportation action; a federal district judge, Stephen V. Wilson, a Reagan appointee, found that it was an unlawful selective proceeding against people for exercising their constitutional right of free speech. The new immigration law says the courts may not hear such cases. The immigration law protects the INS from judicial scrutiny in a broader way. Over the years the courts have barred the service from deliberately discriminatory policies, for example the practice of disallowing virtually all asylum claims by people fleeing persecution in certain countries. The law bars all lawsuits of that kind. Those are just a few examples of recent incursions on due process of law and other constitutional guarantees. A compelling piece by John Heilemann in this month's issue of Wired, the magazine on the social consequences of the computer revolution, concludes that Clinton's record on individual rights is "breathtaking in its awfulness." He may be, Heilemann says, "the worst civil liberties president since Richard Nixon." And even President Nixon did not leave a legacy of court-stripping statutes. It is by no means clear that Bob Dole would do better. He supported some of the worst legislation in the Senate, as the Gingrich Republicans did in the House. Why? The Soviet threat, which used to be the excuse for shoving the Constitution aside, is gone. Even in the worst days of the Red Scare we did not strip the courts of their protective power. Why are we legislating in panic now? Why, especially, is a lawyer president indifferent to constitutional rights and their protection by the courts? Five hundred channels 499 too many ESPN's SportsCenter is the only programming a man of the '90s needs R ecently my wife, Mari, with whom I'am well pleased, and who must be obeyed, took meby ,the arm, marched me out onto the frohtlSw»qfoui^ouse and pointed to the roof, where one of the , chimneys seemed to have grown an appendage that looked like a pizza pan with an umbilical cord. "Happy anniversary," she said. She had bought for me one of those small satellite dishes that enable people who are so inclined to watch, among much else in the way of sports and other entertainment, 800 major league baseball games in a season, and an alarmingly rich "college basketball package," and similar abundances of other sports. Thanks to this electronic cornucopia now spilling into my living room, we were able to see, that first golden evening with the dish, the football coach at Clemson do his weekly show on a Greenville, S.C., television station. Is this a great country, or what? Never mind that neither Mari nor I have even the slightest interest in Clemson football. Well, she has this interest: As a graduate of the University of South Carolina, she looks upon Clemson the way a duchess looks upon a GEORGE F. WILL The Washington Post * scullery maid — down — and she wishes for Clemson football nothing but sprained ankles, strained ligaments and academically ineligible nose guards. Never mind. The larger point is that the blessing of technology made it possible for us to watch the coach explain why Clemson's student athletes had suffered so much at the hands of Florida State's student athletes, and so we watched. We watched on the coach's show on the present Mari gave to me on my most recent birthday, a "big screen" television set. That is "big" as in "the Grand Canyon is a big ditch." On this huge television set the flared nostrils of Texas Rangers first baseman Will Clark look like railroad tunnels. When Clark has his game face on — which is to say, when his jowls look like Yasser Arafat's and his eyes turn toward the pitcher with the sort of baleful glint Benjamin Netanyahu's eyes have when turned toward Yasser Arafat — Clark's face fills the screen, which fills the room. It is not a sight for the fainthearted, but if that's the sort of thing you like, you'll like that sort of thing. It will not be easy giving my enhanced television all the attention it deserves, but, heck, you gotta play hurt. So I probably have not only written my last book, I probably have read my last book. And I do not have the heart to tell Mari the truth, which is this: 500 channels are about 499 more than this viewer needs. Were someone to render my television set incapable of receiving anything but ESPN, it would be weeks — months, maybe — before I noticed. Actually, there also is ESPN 2, for lesser events. And soon there will be a third offering, ESPNEWS, a sort of CNN for the sports-dependent — all sports news, 24 hours a day. This, in spite of the fact that the whole world does not produce enough real news to fill a 24-hour all- news channel, as CNN proves every day. However, ESPN's puckish spirit is well displayed in promotional advertisements for the 24-hour service. The screen is blank except for this: "4:21 a.m." The background music sounds like monks doing Gregorian chants. A hushed, earnest voice says: "In the middle of the night many of us search for answers to life's questions. Is there a God? Am I loved? Why was I created? Did the Yankees beat the Twins?" Been there. Done that. Can't wait for ESP- NEWS. Until then, there already is the jewel in ESPN's crown — SportsCenter. It is, as everyone knows, the thinking person's "World News Tonight with Peter Jennings." Mari says the new dish will offer me lots of opportunities for something that there is, she clearly implies, lots of room for, namely improvement of my tastes and broadening of my interests. She mentions programs from Lincoln Center, and stuff like that. Well, as a '90s Man, I not only let my inner child frolic on a long leash, I am sensitive and caring as all get out. So from now on, when Mari is nearby, I will pretend to be fascinated by some of the 500 or so non-ESPN channels now at my fingertips — perhaps a 24-hour professional bass fishing tournament channel, or a Tex-Mex vegetarian cooking channel. But my heart, and what remains of my mind, belongs to ESPN. III IESBURY By G.B. TRUDEAU SKVNPIHNISH FOR. 60: 'BUZZ' T&WNAWD! RIGHT* \

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