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The Daily News from Port Angeles, Washington • Page 4

The Daily News from Port Angeles, Washington • Page 4

The Daily Newsi
Port Angeles, Washington
Issue Date:

Editorial views Labor wins one in the courts The U.S. Supreme Court has just ruled 5-to-4 in a decision favorable to organized labor. That has not happened often in recent years. The effect of the decision is that federal courts cannot order union members to cross a picket line belonging to another union even if those workers have a "no strike" clause in their own contract. Here's the situation: You are a union member and your union and employer have a no-strike clause. That means that if contract negotiations get nowhere both sides can turn the dispute over to an arbitrator for a final decision. Both sides must accept the arbitrator's decision, which neither side will probably like, but a strike harmful to both will have been eliminated. So you cannot strike, and you are not on strike. But another union, maybe working at the same site and for the same employer, is on strike. That other union places pickets at the gates. Should you cross the picket line? Can the fedederal courts force you to cross? The answer now is no. You cannot be forced to cross, nor can you be forced to stay outside. However, if there is a clause in your contract that says you will cross, that is another matter. Justice Byron White, writing for the majority, said that no-strike clauses are an agreement to arbitrate, not to litigate. If an employer could get a court injunction to force non-striking employes across a legal picket line, federal judges would become additional participants in a wide range of arbitrable disputes, he said. The decision will have little effect here. We know of no union that have no-strike clauses with the exception of public safety employes, although there may be some. The court's decision applies only to federal court injunctions. Unions and companies can and do write into their contracts that workers will cross picket lines of another union under certain circumstances. In that case a court injunction would be effective to enforce a legal contract. Supreme Court decisions do not determine if a situation is right or wrong, wise or unwise; they determine if it is legal or illegal. This decision was based upon an interpretation of the Norris- LaGuardia Act, the Taft-Hartley Act and earlier court decisions. If the law is unwise, it is theoretically the duty of Congress to fix it. The decision gives added strength to unions, strength that could bail them out if they go on strike without sound reasons. Reform or myth? The hottest things in political circles these dfcys are "zero based budgeting" and "sunset laws." The basic idea and appeal in both instances is to bring proliferating government bureaucracies under control, and to pare down spending. Zero based budgeting would require government agencies to justify all their spending each year rather than coming in and saying they need what they had last year plus so'iriuch more for the coming yiear. Usually they are required to justify "just the additional money requests. Sunset laws simply say all government agencies and offices will go out of existence by a certain time unless re-enacted by legislative authority. The various government units then have to justify their existence to stay alive. Both ideas have a lot of appeal and logic on their side. In theory, they sound terrific but will they work as intended? At the federal level, the answer will be no unless Congress shows an inclination to change its ways. There is little inclination to get tough with spending programs because it might offend or hurt someone. Likewise with adopting reforms. Several years ago, Congress made a big to-do over plugging tax loopholes which allowed rich persons to pay no income taxes. Last year, more persons than ever with big incomes paid no income taxes. Reform is often illusory. You just have to doubt Congress will rise above the rhetoric, based on past performance. Decision on abortion The Supreme Court is making so many momentous decisions these days because it is finishing its term. All the big cases it heard arguments on for the past eight or nine months are being decided so the court can dear its calendar for the summer and begin the fall with another round of big cases. One of the big decisions is a ruling striking down laws giving husbands of married women and parents of minor girls the right to prevent abortions by withholding consent. This state's abortion law, approved by the voters in 1970, originally had consent requirements for husbands and parents of minor girls. The State Supreme Court struck down the parental consent requirement. Mark Russell Comments on our times Rumor from California: Many Hollywood stars favor legalization of Tom Hayden. A news release says that Carter lovers "include Johnny Cash, Burt Lancaster, Peggy Lee and Percy Sledge." At last report, Harold Stassen still had Jack Lescoulie. Percy Sledge? Now the husbands' consent proviso has been thrown out. The court's ruling striking down parental consent provisos was not absolute. It said it was not ruling that in all cases under all circumstances and no matter what the age of the minor girl, parental consent could be circumvented. Nevertheless, the court made it clear that decisions about abortions rest primarily with the women who must bear the children. States can set limits on the term of pregnancy during which abortions can be performed, but beyond that, the decision is the woman's. In the case of married women, somehow that balance seems tilted. A husband has a role in procreation but no voice at all in termination of the pregnancy. Where is the equity in such a situation? All in all, it was a disappointing decision, but one which will likely stand. The vote was 6-to-3. Medical consumer David S. Broder Democrats and Gov. Brown NEW YORK-A national convention is a snapshot, taken at a single instant, of a political party whose institutional life spans the generations. It is a family reunion on a massive scale. When the last bit of ticker-tape has been swept away, and the celebrants of this year's nominee have ended their revels, what remains in the spectator's memory, so often, are the faces of the generation past and the generation yet to be. The first Republican convention this reporter covered was won by Richard Nixon. But the most vivid scene was Herbert Hoover feeble but still proud receiving his final tribute from the loyalists of a party that had begun its long slide from power under his presidency. Here, at Madison Square Garden this past week, there were faces from the Democratic past from the Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Johnson years watching, with varying emotions, the passage of power to the new man from Georgia and his circle. Averell Harriman the perpetual insider was here, along with that veteran of the New Deal years and the FDR staff, Washington lawyer James H. Rowe Jr. In proper dynastic fashion, Rowe's son has become a member of the Carter campaign hierarchy. Hubert Humphrey, George McGovern, George Wallace and other presidential contenders of the past all were granted their nostalgic moment in the spotlight. But more intriguing were the glimpses of some of those who may be center stage in future convention years. The game of guess-who's-rehearsing- for-next-time is more than just a game. In 1956, John F. Kennedy came before the convention to concede defeat in a close, exciting floor fight for vice president. Four years later, he was back as presidential nominee. In 1960, Barry Goldwater appeared briefly to help Richard Nixon quell a conservative rebellion. Four years later, he was the nominee. George McGovern ran a short warm- up race for President at the 1968 convention, four years before he won the nomination, and Jimmy Carter stood at the podium, at least briefly, to nominate Scoop Jackson in 1972. Who were the candidates-in-waiting at this convention? One could see young Jay Rockefeller, the candidate for governor of West Virginia, making the rounds with his Carter button on his chest. There were the platform Govs. Wendell Anderson of Minnesota and Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts. There were Sen. Dale Bumpers of Arkansas and Rep. Tom Foley of Washington. And of course there was, fleetingly, Ted Kennedy. But the most obvious candidate-in- waiting for future years was California Gov. Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown who beat Carter in three head-to-head tests this year and still was shaking his head when the convention chose the man he had defeated. On the day of Carter's nomination, Brown lunched with two reporters in the coffee shop of his hotel. When a waitress scurried to bring him a bottle of soda to drink, he assured her, "Don't rush. I have plenty of time." Indeed, he does. Jerry Brown is 38. If you assume that Carter and his vice presidential choice, Sen. Walter F. Mondale of Minnesota, will occupy the white House from now to 1992, Brown would then be 54 barely older than Carter is today. In the year 2000, Brown will be younger than Gerald Ford is now. He may not, of course, have to wait that long, if Carter stumbles as candidate or as President. But occupying his time will not be a problem. After showing some emotional symptoms of unwillingness to accept that his late-starting but spectacularly successful campaign would not deny Carter nomination, Brown seems ready to return to Sacramento. The government he is running there is more provocative in its program assumptions and more talented in its reputation between Sacramento and Washington will continue in coming years, whether it is Carter or Ronald Reagan or Gerald Ford in the White House. California is big enough to provide a yardstick for measuring Washington's performance. Brown carries back to his job what he calls "a broadened personal awareness of what this amazing mechanism called the Democratic Party is," a by-product of his campaigning in the diverse political environments of Oregon and Rhode Island, New Jersey and Nevada. He will do some more campaigning around the country this fall for other young Democrats, like Pennsylvania Senate candidate Bill Green. But mostly he will stay home and nurture the experiments that are beginning-to change the structure and policies of government in our largest state in areas from consumer affairs to employe compensation, to urban problems to agriculture and the environment. Brown, who says, "I believe in doing things in increments," also is one of the few practicing politicians in America who believes that Ml ulUiftatety transforms 1 the direction of a society. 7 transtorms 'the direction of a socle ISSS a dm ustrato a any other are the ideas that its leaders generate; with which tins reporter is familiar in And one idea that has been planted 5 1Ca Including the incrementally but firmly in this year government of Washington. te that Jerry Brown may someday be The competition in performance and President. Business Mirror Economic indicators and the fall election ByJOHNCUNNIFF NEW YORK (AP) It is possible that the economy will be the issue that determines whom we will elect in November as our president for the next four years. But how do you get a reading on the economy? Fortunately, most people rely on their own seat-of-the-pants feeling to make their decision on whether the economy is performing well or poorly. It is the thickness of their own wallet that carries the message. If they were to rely on those outpourings of statistics from Washington they might become confused, as more than a few economists are. They would, so to speak, wonder which number was up. Retail sales, for example, were off in May, adding additional evidence that the economic advance slowed appreciably in the second quarter. But how much were they off? The Commerce Department initially put the decline at 1.2 per cent from April, but we learned later that this really didn't tell the true extent of the drop. This month they said the May drop really was 2.1 per cent. A revision of that magnitude changes a lot of things, but the timing of the revision could be even more significant, especially if the retail sales figures for June are to have any significance. Earlier this month, you see, the Commerce Department announced that retail sales rebounded in June to 2.7 per cent, a report that brought joy to a lot of people who had feared consumers were being turned off. But note that 2.7 per cent jump was made possible only because of the sizable downward revision of the previous month. Monthly and weekly figures do have their significance, but it is mainly over the period of several months that you distinguish the trends that won't be revised out of existence. Can we wait, though? With the economy a prime campaign issue it seems inevitable that we will rely on the "freshest" of statistics and ignore the later revisions, which often are quite large. THE DAILY NEWS PORT ANGELES, WASH. 98362 a Serving the North Olympic Peninsula 60 years Ned Thomas fdrter and liucialt Frank D. Managing Editor Island I. Circulation Maqpr WesfeyO. ErlondF.Honsen MMrtrung Dirtctor Donald V. Poison Editor Borwie F. SnyaV Either 8. Webster Editor July 20, 1976 Liability for referrals to inept doctors By DAVIDHENDIN First of two related columns Local medical societies are on notice that they may be liable for referring patients to a "negligent" physician. The warning comes in a recent issue of the American Medical News, a publication of the American Medical Association (AMA). It tells of a recent half-million-dollar lawsuit filed against the Chicago Bar Assn. The article notes that "The lawsuit charges that the bar association referred a Chicago couple to a negligent lawyer (ironically, in a malpractice suit against a dentist). "The parallel is uncomfortably close to potential situations involving medical society referrals, attorneys say and it has caused some worry at the bar group's counterpart, the Chicago Medical Society." Local medical societies commonly maintain a public referral service for consumers who need help in finding a doctor. For years consumers have been urged to go first to these referral services if they needed a physician and had no other source. The Medical Consumer, however, has for three years been urging consumers not to use this method to find a doctor. We have found, in fact, that use of medical society referral services may be the worst method of getting the name of a reliable physician. Once, a story, we had occasion to phone a large California medical society to ask about the qualifications of one of its members. The society gave him a clean bill of health. We subsequently learned, however, that this doctor was at the time on a one-year disciplinary probation by the California State Board of Medical Examiners. When confronted with this fact a medical society spokesman said, "Well, he is only on probation. He is not suspended. He still practices medicine legally in this state." The medical society official also admitted to knowing about the doctor's probation, but said that it wasn't the medical society's job to give out that kind of information. This kind of attitude reinforces the belief that doctors have too often been overly protective of their colleagues. They should realize that such attitudes do irreparable harm to the credibility of all physicians. Until that attitude changes it is best for consumers to remember that medical societies exist basically as professional interest groups for their members. Thus a medical society may go to extremes in order to avoid telling you anything that might reflect badly on a member in good standing. Footnote: A bright side to the story is that the American Medical Association has begun to seriously act to correct the problems described in this column. Recently the AMA's House of Delegates issued a report calling for a national repository of data on doctors who are disciplined. It would contain "any and all adverse information as established by legal proceedings," according to an AMA trustee. The data would be available to hospitals, licensing boards and medical societies toat are trying to determine the qualifications of any physician applying for a license or a position to practice medicine. Will the AMA urge that this information also be made available to consumers those it will most likely affect? In the next column we'll talk more about finding doctor. Readers write Sensible versus aesthetic In The Daily News editorial July 7, "The choice in land use," you say Oregon's LCDC is forcing land use planning "That would otherwise not be done because of political pressures." My I once lived is that it was political pressure that attempted land use control; that their initiative is really against that pressure. This situation is developing also in the State of Washington. As land not available for development you list "farm lands." If land is economically valuable as farm land, it is not available for homes. But if It is not profitable to farm, there is no sensible reason why it should not be available for our expanding population. You point to a potential shortage: Then" what sensible reasoning can anyone offer that the minimum rural homesite must be 5 or more acres? You mention "the quality of life." Does not acceptable life-quality begin with adequate shelter? The only support for large rural acreage is aesthetic; what price aesthetic? As to, "pattern use of land for the maximum public benefit," the term "public benefit" has always been conveniently vague. And the owner of the land, who has the investment, and has maintained the taxes, has the right to plan how he handles this investment. One finds as many diverse opinions as people. Environmental considerations are over-involked by a few; aesthetic considerations are of prime importance to some, and not so important to others. Left alone, people tend to gather together who have common interests. The exasperating effort is the attempt to confuse "planning" with the quite different action of "controlling." The real needs of people are the first proper consideration and are controlled, traditionally, by the affected people. The problems of schools, health and transportation (and peace, and law enforcement, and utilities, which y.ou did not mention) must be "planned" by our public else why would we need them? I once asked our planners about these items, and I was told, "We have not gotten to these problems, yet." While really a utility, the telephone system is private enterprise, and.they seem able to plan effectively without demanding control; (and they recently buried a large number of cabled circuits in the Dungeness Valley) About "sensible choices," from the standpoint of least land use, and least use of building material, single houses should be two-story, and cubical; and from the standpoint of best use of solar energy, in this area they should be painted dull black. For concentrated people, nothing is more sensible than the over a half-century old "row- houses" of Philadelphia. But for both: How about the conflict between sensible and aesthetic? George V.Morris Route 6, Box 706 Sequim Water, please The flower baskets looked so pretty when they were hung and we rejoiced that our city would cooperate in such a lovely project. Now the flowers are drying up and dying. Is it because the city management has lost interest in Keeping Port Angeles as bright and pretty as other towns its size? Why can't a couple of employes be given the task of watering these plants? It would only take an hour or two each to 66 them ta 1 condition and the city already owns the necessary equipment. Please, please can't this be done before all the plants are dead? 929W.FifthSt. Wilma'corn Port Angeles People great I am now in Interlochen, rehearsing with the Bicentennial Chorus. It is because of you I am here. Thanks are due The DaUy News, the Monday Musicale, Port Angeles Rotary Club and the many individuals who helped make my trip possible. I promise to do my best to represent Port Angeles and our beautiful state. I still plan to brag about our area, but what a joy it will be to also tell of our wonderful people. 001 urv.jv Nancy Pollard 221WhidbyAve. Port Angeles A look back Into the files of The Dally News 40 years 8 0 U936)-TraiJ Improve- on the route from Moose Jake, under Roy A new wction of trail will some of the climbtag, he 25 years ago at Pillar Point.

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