Star-Gazette from Elmira, New York on December 1, 1986 · 4
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Star-Gazette from Elmira, New York · 4

Elmira, New York
Issue Date:
Monday, December 1, 1986
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4A Star-Gazette, Mon., Dec. 1, 1986 ( Editorial J Stuck on blight and noise This time of year slips by fast. We barely finish digesting the last of the Thanksgiving turkey when it's time to put another bird in the oven for Christmas. Then suddenly, we find ourselves thrown into a whole new year. To make good on last year's bungled resolutions, we often renew them or replace them with grander promises. Time is running out for City Council if it plans to make good this year on months of talk about eliminating eyesores and earaches in Elmira. City lawmakers appear stymied on how to combat neighborhood blight and excessive noise. The task won't become any easier in 1987. Cuts in federal aid and rising costs for basic services like garbage removal promise to create a bare-bones budget. The big question next year could be whether it's economically feasible to mount major crackdowns on negligent property owners and noisemakers. So what can be done? Perhaps the answer lies not in creating entirely new ordinances but in repackaging existing ones. Use a little honey instead of vinegar. Take neighborhood blight, for example. Elmira is a city of older homes, many which require more improvements. But rundown properties cannot be renovated cheaply. And many people feel they can't afford to pay for those changes, faced with the prospects of increased taxes. But that's how the system works. You go to city hall for a building permit, fix up your house, the city inspects your work and raises your assessment. Council needs to re-examine priorities and come to grips with the need to enforce existing codes and regulations. If the city is going to deliver services, it must have the means to pay. Making noise won't scare up improvements. More incentives to homeowners could make the job easier. Some laurels and a dart LAUREL To Clarice Freese, the resident of Day spring II in Corning who was instrumental in obtaining a new van for the senior citizens' housing complex. A former neighbor of Frank Sinatra, she had written him for advice on fund raising and he responded by donating the 12-passenger, $20,000 beauty. LAUREL To the physicians and medical team who recently labored so valiantly to reattach the severed arm of Susan Dailey, 30, of 302 Lormore St. Well enough to spend the holiday with her family at home, the Trayer Products milling machine operator called the operation a miracle. DART To the New York State Social Services Department for making about $2.2 million in Medicaid overpayments to health care providers in one six-month period because of failure to put into place computer program changes that detect errors. LAUREL To the generosity of residents who boosted the fund-raising goal of the United Way of Southeastern Steuben County way over the top. The goal of of $821,636 was exceeded by $7,000 before the campaign deadline. LAUREL To John Baer, 15, Corning West High School sophomore, for his proposal to place up to five signs around the city that will provide tourists with historical information. B9 From Missour-ah, or is it Missour-ee? I can't imagine why these political commentators keep saying that the recent senatorial elections failed to put any major issues before the American people. In Missouri, the choice presented to the voters on how to pronounce the name of the state could hardly have been more clearcut. There may have been some collateral issues I understand someone said something about all the farmers going bust but I don't think the Missouri results can be interpreted as anything but a referendum on the pronunciation question. I don't care what you might have heard from the White House about how the president has taken that election as a clear mandate to do under-the-table arms deals with creeps. Not major? Is that what I heard somebody say not a major issue? How, may I ask, can you decide policy for a state you can't even pronounce? What would you think if Margaret Thatcher pronounced Great Britain as if were spelled Great Bribben? Imagine her looking hard into the television camera, with that visage that reminds you of the expression your junior high school principal wore just after that mysterious flood in the faculty lounge, and saying sternly, "International terrorists must be told in no uncertain terms that they will be given no quarter in Great Bribben." I don't mean to give the impression that the pronunciation of Great Britain was a big issue in this year's senatorial race. Traditionally, foreign policy doesn't carry much weight in Missouri campaigns. The issue was how to say Missouri. As it happens, Missouri is my home state, although I've been visiting in the East for the past 25 or 30 years. In the interest of full disclosure, I should also say that I made my own position clear on this issue several years ago with a closely reasoned column proving that Missouri is properly pronounced as if it were spelled Missour-ah, and that those Who take on Eastern airs by pronouncing it as if it were spelled Missour-ee should be shown floor-wax commercials until they recant. In other words, if you're looking for an objective analyst of the campaign results, I'm ideal. I'm proud to say that the politicians in my home state do not straddle the fence on this one. Yes, I've heard there was once a wishy-washy gubernatorial candidate who tried to play both sides of the street by saying Missour-eh, or maybe Missour-oo, but he was soundly defeated and forced to move to Arkansas in disgrace. This fall, the candidates for the Senate seat being vacated by Thomas Eagleton gave the voters a clear choice. Christopher Bond, the former governor, pronounces the name of the state correctly. His opponent, Harriett Woods, who probably has a lot of nice qualities of her own, does not. Christopher Bond wor. In fact, he was the only winner among the nine Republican senatorial candidates the president campaigned for in his final blitz which is presumably why the president's Uncivil f. v Liberties Calvin Trillin advisers are taking the Missouri victory as "an overwhelming expression of popular support" for a White House policy they tend to describe off the record as "telling a tiny little itty-bitty fibbie now and then." But local analysts (my Uncle Harry, for one) think the president and his policies had virtually no effect on the outcome. The campaign was clearly fought on pronunciation, Uncle Harry says, and the president's impact on that issue had to be minimal, since he gave the impression at a Bond for Senate rally in Kansas City that he believed himself to be in South Dakota (which he pronounced correctly). I have to admit that the election of a Missouri senator who said Missour-ee would have presented a rather awkward situation for me, since one of my standard responses to Easterners who consider my pronunciation quaint is that every single Missouri senator agrees with me Senator Dan-forth and Senator Eagleton both having been first-rate on this issue over the years. My other standard response is "Buzz off, Easterner." I can assure you, though, that this personal interest had nothing to do with my phoning a Missouri political analyst I'll call Joe and asking whether he interpreted the election as a repudiation of the Missour-ee faction by just plain Missourians. "Either that or it shows that Republican sophisticates like Bond have figured out that Missour-ah sounds folksier for the voters," Joe said. "Republican sophisticates!" I said. "Christopher Bond was born and raised right there in Mexico, Missouri." "But he went to Princeton," Joe said. "Danforth went to Princeton too. Maybe it's a Princeton pronunciation." "But how about Eagleton?" I countered. "Eagleton's a Democrat. Eagleton didn't go to Princeton." '.'No, Eagleton went to Amherst," Joe said. "Maybe at Princeton and Amherst they say Missour-ah and at Williams and Dartmouth they say Missour-ee." "But Joe," I said. "You say Missour-ah yourself." "That's right," Joe said. "I thought it would make me fit in better when I moved here from Brooklyn." "Brooklyn!" I said. "From the way you talk, I always thought you were from Springfield, or maybe Joplin." "These issues are never clear-cut," Joe said. Trillin, tho author of bookt on humor, wrltos for Tho Now Torkor. Other voices... On discloure of arms sales to Iran This is a collection of excerpted editorial opinion on the disclosure that money from U.S. arms sales to Iran was secretly diverted to Nicaraguan rebels. Could President Reagan not have known that his National Security Council staff was taking money paid by Iran for American arms, putting it into a secret Swiss bank account and sending it on to the Nicaraguan contras, contrary to law and all common sense? Do White House aides feel that free to ignore their Commander-in-Chief? Or did Mr. Reagan know about this astonishing pattern of lawless activity and Doonesbury by garry trudeau ...and i agree with the LAST CALLER, MARK. THIS 80E5KY6VYISJUSTTHE I IIP OF THE ICEBERG WHEN 1 IT COMBS TO IUSIPER TRAP- 1 . t ANPWITHBOESKY SINGING, THERE'S r I OF GUYS LOSING THINK SLEEP TONIGHT, YOU KNOW ANY WAD-WS ON msrnar, MAN UH... WELL, AS A MATTER OF FACT, IPO. BUT THERE'S NOWAYHE'P... HEP... At ALL I EVER. WANTED WAS TO MAKE THE MARKETHOPE EFFICIENT.' PIP YOU SAYSCME THING, PEAR? does he now retreat behind the deniability offered by loyal aides? It's hard to know which would be more alarming, Presidential ignorance or arrogance. The New York Times. ... Admirals and Marine light colonels get paid to take risks for their commander-in-chief. We doubt that expending volunteers will end the president's troubles. More likely, their departure will prove to be blood in the water. For our money, he should have said, yes, I sent the money to the contras in pursuit of my powers as commander-in-chief. The Wall Street Journal. If there is a scent of Watergate, it is because a president has been embarrassed by incompetents and is trying to limit the damage to himself and his high office. Richard Nixon failed because he personally became involved in a coverup far more serious than the original offense .... The Baltimore Sun. It begs belief that a mere lieutenant colonel on the National Security Council staff, even an ultimate gung-ho Marine such as the now-fired Oliver North, could have been the sole person in the know... John Poindexter, could have known "generally" of the North operation and failed to look further into it or to inform his chief. Presumably the inquiry being pressed by the Justice Department far from the only inquiry now under way will shed more light on this bizarre affair. The Washington Post. President Reagan did not learn from his predecessor's mistakes in dealing with Iran. Now he should make sure he avoids the example of Mr. Carter and other presidents who failed to cut their losses by quickly jettisoning close advisers who had one way or another gone wrong. In this regard, If (White House chief of staff Donald) Regan had any real loyalty to Mr. Reagan, he would be pushing for immediate permission to resign. Chicago Tribune. Seven years ago, Americans watched in anger and frustration the drama at the U.S. Embassy in Iran. The fanatic supporters of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini praised Allah for giving them the American hostages ... ... the Iranian fanatics and other supporters of terrorism must be laughing with contentment again. The Hartford Courant. Star-Gazette Member of the Gannett Group AN INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER Richard D. Tuttle Editor and Publisher Richard O. Price Executive Editor James L. Lowman Editor of the Editorial Page ( ILeTtttcBir ) Youth program funds available for recreation To the Editor: I have just concluded my tenure as the city representative on the County Youth Board during which time I was instrumental in obtaining from the county a mini-grant for youth programs not subsidized by town boards. The notice of this grant was put in the Star-Ga-zette but it was brought to my atten- Nelson tion many times by different youth programs that they did not see the notice. If there is anyone interested in this mini-grant they can call Polly Sanders at the Chemung County Youth Board in the Human Resource Building (old Southside High School) and she will give you the information you require. Although the monies aren't a lot, it is a step in the right direction by ("thanks to Mr. Tranter") the county to help the youth of Chemung County with their recreation programs. JIM NELSON 804 W. Second St. Sports classic organizers are praised for great job To the Editor: Accolades to the Sesquicen-tennial Celebration of Sports committee consisting of Al Mal-lette, Marty Harrigan, Jeanne Whitney Solomon and Daisy Waight. Charged by the Sesqui-centennial Committee with the "impossible" task of singling out 300 honorees from the thou sands of out-standing area athletes of the past, Al and his committee rose to the occasion with a year-long effort culminating in a gala reception at Elmi- Doug Wilson ra College the likes of which have never been seen in our community and which probably will never be duplicated. To the estimated 750 guests it was a night to be remembered and cherished. Smiles, warm greetings and animated conversations were much in evidence as old acquaintances were renewed and deeds of yesteryear relived. It has been said that our area's most precious commodity is its people. How fortunate we are to have people like Al, Marty, Jeanne, Daisy and many others who give so freely of their talents and time to the benefit of others. DOUG WILSON 995 Mt. View Drive Pine City Sesquicentennial news flow receives low rating To the Editor: With 1986, our sesquicentennial year, drawing to a close it is time for me to lambaste your paper on its handling of the entire affair. There was little or no coverage. In this age of rapid communication and giant conglomerates, we, the little people, feel left out even from our own celebration. It is my summation that reporters are required only to report, not to write. Even I can read information coming from a national teletype machine and write something about it. Newspapers are rapidly becoming highly impersonal. Doctors used to make house calls, too. The local section in the Star-Gazette, in my view, is a joke. Go ahead, remind us about how depressed this area is. But geez, write about something that is uplifting also. Come on, you wouldn't have far to go. Look around. There are a million and one subjects. What would Frank Gannett think about the depersonalization of his paper? Now he would be an interesting subject, but oh, it's not his paper anymore, I forgot. At the beginning of this year, I had my heart set to cut out all the articles concerning our sesquicentennial year and to make a scrapbook, one which would preserve for my descendants a record of human interest stories about people who walked through and built up this county, people we should consciously be grateful to for their existence and for their contri-butions. We know them. If not, we are affected by them. History is fact and figures, wars and ball games. To me, history is much more. History is a learning subject and on the lighter side can be uplifting. Ask your local historical societies how many young people are enrolled or are active. The answer is few, very few. Our history today is "Star Wars" from our newspapers' articles down to our kids' toys. It is a newspaper's duty to report on subjects locally as well as on a national or global level. By the way, your field representative, Jim Pfiffer, is doing excellent work. Keep him on, give him a raise, because his reporting is the highlight of your paper. He's one of us. In the year 2100, people will say, "Boy Scouts? Bicycles? Honor? Pedaling? How fascinating." LEE E. JACKSON 264 W. 12th St. Elmira Heights

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