Muncie Evening Press from Muncie, Indiana on March 14, 1988 · Page 4
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Muncie Evening Press from Muncie, Indiana · Page 4

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Muncie, Indiana
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Monday, March 14, 1988
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r The Muncie Evening Press Page 4 Monday, March 14, 1988 Bft! ft THE MUNCIE sclera WILLIAM A. DYE JR., Prssidant ROBERT 6. ELLIS, Gonorol Monooor MICHAEL F. GRIMES, Advertising Or CHESTER 0. HENSON, Circulation Director EDITORIALS 20 years The words are familiar: The government should create 1 million new jobs and jaise the minimum wage significantly. Massive federal initiatives are needed to increase welfare benefits, school spending and funding for housing programs for the nation's poor. The Democratic Party's 1988 platform? A stump speech by Jesse Jackson? No, these are among the proposals of the Kerner Commission, a presidential panel established in August 1967 in the aftermath of widespread urban rioting Watts, then Chicago and Cleveland followed by Newark and Detroit. The long, hot summers of the 1960s suggested that something was fundamentally wrong in America. The Kerner Commission was charged with investigating the causes of urban racial unrest and suggesting remedies. Its final report, issued two decades ago last month, recommended a massive infusion of federal social programs and spending to head off what the panel saw as an America "moving toward two societies, one black, one white separate and unequal." It found that "prostitution, dope addiction, casual sex affairs and crime create an environmental jungle characterized by personal insecurity and tension." Coming at a time of a growing conviction that the social programs of the Johnson administration had failed, the report's conclusions gave the Great Society's "enlightened liberalism" a Paying a While some might envy those Americans enjoying the so-called good life, new evidence emerges suggesting that life in the lap of luxury may not be such a bargain after all. According to a recent survey by a champagne producer, the cost of living the high life in New York City rose last year at more than twice the rate of the Consumer Price Index. While the nation's inflation index rose 4.4 percent last year, the life of luxury in the Big Apple went up 9 percent this according to the respected Moet Index, a survey compiled since 1983 by Moet and Chandon Champagne. The largest price increases included 14.7 percent for 30 grams of Beluga caviar, up from $29 in Letters to the editor The Evening Press welcomes letters from its readers. Only letters containing correct names and addresses are considered (or publication. In certain cases, pseudonyms are permitted to protect writers' identities. We prefer short letters of 200 words or less. AU letters are subject to condensation and deletion of matter considered libelous or in poor taste. Tell me why? To the editor: My ancestors arrived in America about the time Abe Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. They lived in the northern part of the USA, and had nothing to do with slavery! Slavery was an evil" in the sight of God. But tell me why some of the descendants of these slaves don't like me? I have a friend who is Indian and Jewish. She wonders the same thing. Nowhere in the history books do I read that the Indians sailed to Africa and kidnapped the people. My history book does tell me that the whites pushed Indians from their lands and killed them. Nowhere in the history books do I read where the Jews went to Africa doing likewise. I do read though that six million of them were killed and their lands and belongings confiscated. Persecution comes in many ways, in many packages, under many labels. I have experienced some myself, but then who hasn't? Now when I read the papers and watch the news on television I can't help but think that the descendants of those slaves living in the USA are much better off than the descendants of those not taken from Africa. Have these descendants ever thought of it this way? JUST WONDERING EUGENE C. PULLIAM 11889-1975) JAMES C. QUAYLE Publisher 1975-1978 EUGENE 1 ftXUAM, Publisher WILEY W. SPURGE ON JR., Exscutiv Editor HAROLD W. TRUIOCK, Edtor SALLY J. MILLS, Monoging Edtor-FeaturM BRIAN K. WALKER. Monoging Editor Newj of failure much needed lift. But it accomplished little else. As Thomas Bray of the Detroit News points out in a recent article for Policy Review, "the Kerner Commission had a splendid opportunity to jolt the country into thinking about fresh approaches to some old problems. Instead, it settled for conventional wisdom" an expensive wish list of federal programs. Twenty years and billions of dollars later, the commission's "dewy-eyed faith in government's ability to 'solve' problems," as Bray puts it, has yielded more crime, more unemployment, more poverty, and more welfare dependency in the inner cities. Today a third of Detroit's population is on welfare. And although institutionalized racism has declined appreciably, Detroit and many other large cities are as segregated in 1988 as they were nearly a generation ago when the Kerner panel's recommendations were considered the high-water mark of liberal thinking. Yet despite overwhelming evidence that the government's well-intentioned programs actually have increased the alienation of poor people, and particularly blacks, from the mainstream, some presidential contenders and congressional advocates are touting the same bromides. If anything can be gained from revisiting the Kerner Commission's findings, it is the understanding that 20 years of failure should not be repeated. high price 1986' to $33.25 last year, 11.7 percent for a wash, cut and blow dry at a top hair salon, up from $60 to $67; and a 10 percent increase for a day's maid service, escalating from $80 to $88. But even with such costly advances, selective shoppers can take consolation from the availability of bargains. A round-trip New York-to-Paris flight on the Concorde rose only 3 percent last year, up from $4,296 to $4,424, Other luxurious bargains included only a 5.3 percent increase in the price of a full-length mink coat, from $15,750 to $16,500; and 5.3 percent for limousine rental, from $38 an hour to $40 an hour. This was the fourth consecutive year in which the Moet Index had exceeded the nation's inflationary standard, demonstrating anew that one has to pay a price for being rich. In 1986, for instance, the luxury index rose 6.1 percent, while the CPI rose only 1.9 percent. Apart from higher prices, living high on the hog no doubt has its advantages, though it helps not to make a pig of oneself. Now you know ... Your young child may be able to hold onto a drinking glass better if you place two tight rubber bands around the glass an inch or so apart. This makes it easier for little hands to hold. r-Report says TVA official lied WASHINGTON -One of the most prominent men in the nuclear energy business, the manager of the Tennessee Valley Authority's nuclear power program, lied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission about problems at the nuclear power . plant in Watts Bar, Tenn., according to an agency investigative report. Steven White "willfully submitted material false statements" when he told the NRC that federal regulations were being met by a quality assurance program that is supposed to guarantee that the Watts Bar plant was safely built, according to a draft report on the NRC investigation. White told investigators that he did not intend to mislead the NRC. A group of senior NRC officials who were not involved in the investigation also says White did not intend to lie. The probe into White's handling of the Watts Bar project has been highly publicized, but the NRC has not yet officially released its findings. Our associate Stewart Harris has obtained a draft of the Kids seek The following letter to the editor appeared not too long ago in a suburban newspaper in the Midwest: "I would very much appreciate you helping me deliver a message to a little guy from someone who can't do it himself. "The other night I left my friend's house about 9:30 p.m. to find my car hopelessly stuck in the snow. There were two little guys no more than 12 having a snowball fight who stopped to help. "We pushed and pushed but the car would not move. One little guy's dad called him home and I started to go back in, too. I noticed the other little guy looking so sad and alone I couldn't resist asking him if he wanted to come in and warm up and I'd see if I could scrounge up some candy or pop. . "After a short while I asked him if his parents would be worried, and he told me his parents were divorced and he stayed with his mom and her boyfriend, who were apparently not too concerned about when he got in as long as it was before curfew. He said he hadn't seen his father in three years since there was some argument over Bush's choice for a woman vice WASHINGTON - If George Bush considers a woman for vice president, key advisers will recommend a relative unknown: Gov. Kay Orr of Nebraska. Women more frequently mentioned are ex-U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, ex-Transportation Secretary Elizabeth Dole and Rep. Lynne Martin of Illinois, but they are ruled out by the Bush inner circle. Orr, elected governor in 1986, is a longtime Reaganite dating back to the 1976 presidential campaign. A footnote: The vice president's aides say his personal first choice for running mate undoubtedly would be former Gov. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, now University of Tennessee president. But Bush is far from making up his mind. 1 FEAR OF ARAFAT Senate aides said by Reagan administration officials to have visited the PLO's Yasir Arafat are so fearful of political retribution that one of them, Dennis Culkin, an aide to Republican Sen. John Heinz, Washington Merry-Go-Round By Jack Anderson and Dale Van Atta investigative report. It concludes that White lied to the NRC in two letters in 1986. The letters informed the NRC that "overall," everything was fine at Watts Bar. In fact, the quality assurance program was in a shambles and White knew it, according to the report by the NRC Office of Investigation. Quality assurance programs are supposed to ensure that materials and workmanship at the plant meet industry standards. Without a good quality assurance program, it is hard to tell whether safety systems will work as intended in an accident. In addition to stiff civil fines, the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 allows the NRC to strip a utility of the licenses it needs to operate nuclear power plants if the utility company makes material false statements about a plant. Sources attention where they By Bob Greene child support. "When I said I had to go, he got a sad expression on his face like he didn't have a friend in the world, and I think he felt that he didn't so divorced mom and dad, this letter is really for you. "Mom, boyfriends come and go, but that child is yours forever, and he's desperately reaching out for somebody. That someone is really you and his dad, but already after 11 or 12 short years, he's willing to accept companionship and attention anywhere he can get it. How long will it be until he finds it with a gang or the wrong crowd or even worse? "If you are not allowing him to see his dad until his dad coughs up the bucks, you're hurting him more Rowland Evans and Robert Novak ncWp I- V 4fc flatly denies the January meeting and the other, Baker Spring, an aide to Republican Sen. David Karnes, will not take a telephone call to discuss the matter. Administration insiders say privately but positively that both visited Arafat and that a picture is available to prove it. The visits were made over the objection of U.S. Ambassador David Newton during the aides' lengthy stay in Baghdad, Iraq, six weeks ago. One administration insider told us the two aides may not have had the approval of their bosses. Their reticence may be based on fear of punishment. There is nothing at all illegal in congressmen or their tell us that the Justice Department was briefed in October as the investigation was winding down. The NRC investigation is now officially closed, according to the draft. The NRC still has to decide whether further action should be taken. None of the TVA's nuclear power plants, including Watts Bar, are running. The TVA's five operating reactors were shut down in August because of safety problems. The Watts Bar plant has never operated although it was completed in 1985. Customers of the utility are paying an estimated $1 million per day to buy power from other sources because of the shutdowns. During the investigation, the NRC obtained early drafts of a March 20, 1986, letter from the TVA to the NRC. The NRC had asked White to report whether Watts Bar met federal regulations that govern quality assurance during construction. TVA staffers researched the issue and an early draft of their response said that federal regulations on quality assurance m than you are his dad. Is it worth it? The results could be devastating. "Dad, because you divorced your wife, you didn't divorce your son. You brought him here, so you owe him something. If you can't offer money, you can at least offer love and companionship. A pat on the shoulder, a hug, or even a slap on the behind won't cost anything, and the results will be more than any money can buy. "The reason I am writing is not just for this one little guy but for all the little guys and little girls out there looking for a direction to go who have no one there to show them the way. "Sixteen years ago I knew another little guy whose father had passed away, and he was a little too big for his mom to control by herself, though she did try. That little guy didn't stop until he ended up spending a little while in jail and nearly throwing his whole life away. "Yes, mom and dad, that little guy was me, and jails, rehabilitation centers and the streets are cold, hard places. After being through it all and more than I care to mention I don't want to see that aides meeting Arafat, but fear of retribution from the powerful pro-Israel lobby has kept all but the politically courageous far from Arafat's door. WHO'LL OPPOSE PAT? When Secretary of Education William J. Bennett addressed a recent New York County Republican function, he was surprised by suggestions that he run against Democratic Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Bennett was born in Brooklyn and spent part of his childhood there. But he informed his GOP hosts in Manhattan that it had been a very long time since he had any New York connection and consequently he was not interested. Bennett is now registered to vote in North Carolina, and any attempt at elective office probably would be made from that state. A footnote: National Republican operatives feel the last hope for a credible opponent against Moynihan is Rep. Jack Kemp now that his presidential candidacy is finished. But Kemp has definitively ruled out on nuclear safety-i "are not currently being met in some cases at Watts Bar," and "TVA acknowledges that some quality requirements have not been met." But, by the time White signed the final letter to the NRC, that letter said the problems were under control. "I find that there has been no pervasive breakdown of the quality assurance program; that problems have been identified; and that TVA has remedied or will remedy all identified designconstruction deficiencies and noncompliances, and that accordingly, the overall QA (quality assurance) program is in compliance with" federal regulations, the letter said. The investigative report said the change occurred when the task of drafting the letter was taken out of the hands of quality assurance experts at TVA and given to the office involved with getting the plant licensed. TVA's manager of quality control at Watts Bar, R.J. Mullin, even told investigators that "TVA adopted the stance that they were in compliance with (federal regulations) until proven otherwise." can get it happen to your little boy or girl. Because having a daughter of my own, I care, and I don't want to see her peers have the same problems me and many ot mine naa. "Ours was the peace-loving gen eration that was going to make a better world. Let's start with our own children." The letter, was signed by a man named Robert Week. I got in touch with Robert Week and we talked. He said that after j his own father had died, he began to run wild, and did indeed end up in jail briefly on a drug charge. "It wasn't until I got home that night - the night the little guy from the snowball fight followed me into my friend's house that I thought about all of this," Week said. "Listen, I'm not the most savory- looking guy in the world. I have shoulder-length hair a lot of people say I look a little like Frank Zappa and I usually wear jeans and T-shirts. How was this kid to know that I wasn't a child molester or a murderer? "As it was, my friends and I were playing poker and drinking beer, and the kid just sat around watching us. It probably wasn't the best place for him to be. But he followed me right in, and I finally had to tell him that it was time to go. "Is this where that kid belonged watching a bunch of strangers playing cards and drinking? But he just seemed so hungry for an adult to spend time with him and pay attention to him that be man t care. He was glad to be there." When Week went home to his wife and daughter, he decided to put his thoughts in a letter and mail the letter to the suburban publication. "I really don't think that the little guy saw the letter, he said. "But maybe his parents did. And even if his parents didn't see the letter, maybe other parents did, and recognized their own situations in the letter." Week said when he looked at that little boy on that snowy night, he saw more than an unfamiliar 12-year-old. , "I saw myself when I was a kid," he said. "I looked at him, and I thought, 'That could be me.' Don't get hard and beaten down at such a young , age. That's what I was . thinking." Tribune Media Services president a Senate contest. POSITIVE GEPHARDT Conceding that trying to respond in kind to Gov. Michael Dukakis' aggressive commercials in Super Tuesday states was a costly mistake, Rep. Richard Gephardt's strategists plan strictly positive television advertising for his last chance showdown in Michigan. Given up for dead by political insiders, Gephardt might be resurrected if he could finish first in the Michigan caucuses. His strategists have decided to run a half-million dollar campaign there featuring his trade and populist commercials without worrying about new attacks from Dukakis. Gephardt's Super Tuesday disaster is also attributed by his strategists to spreading too thin his $1 million TV buy (against $3 million by Sen. Albert Gore Jr. and $2.5 million by Dukakis). They concede Gephardt should have spent more money in Oklahoma, where he might have won, and nothing in Florida, where he had no chance. North America Syndicate The report also claims White or his so-called "kitchen cabinet" at the TVA were warned numerous times by outside consultants, the NRC and TVA staffers that the plant had problems with quality. That was before White signed the March 20 letter implying everything was going smoothly. White distorted the facts again in another letter on June 5, according to the investigative report In that letter, he told the NRC that he had assembled :; outside consultants "with ; significant and extensive nuclear QA experience" to review the program. The NRC investigators interviewed those experts and , found that three of the eight had little or no experience in nuclear quality assurance and that none of them were certified as quality assurance experts. White's June 5 letter further, claimed he had hired yet another group of outsiders to review the findings of the first consultants. But the NRC investigators talked to them, too, and none could recall ever going over the findings of the first group. United Featurt Syndicate

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