Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on May 26, 1974 · Page 23
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 23

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, May 26, 1974
Page 23
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RALPH NADER Water Bill and Staggers WASHINGTON - Congressman Harley Staggers' daughter is a young physician in West Virginia. She has treated patients suffering from contaminated drinking water. Yet she was not familiar with the safe drinking water bill which has been bogged down in her father's House Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee for several months due to lack of quorums, oil industry lobbying and nit-picking. She is not alone in this unawareness. Cleaning up the nation's drinking water is not exactly a burning political issue. Politicians do not lose or win elections over their stands on the level of mercury, cadmium, nitrates, asbestos, lead, live viruses, bacteria or other drinking water pollutants that cause short-or long- term damage to citizens' health. But if the urgent facts about community and metropolitan water supplies which have been compiled by the U.S. Public Health Service and the Environmental Protection Agency do not move voters to action, they have had an effect on Congress. Last year the Senate passed a bill providing for federal drinking water standards and technical assistance to the states who retain the primary enforcement role. However, should a state fail to protect its citizens by not enforcing these standards, the EPA would insure compliance. THE HOUSE bill, as it is presently written, would require water systems which violate the health standards to notify consumers and the media. Passage of such legislation would alert the residents of Cleveland, for example, more frequently about the antiquated systems of pipes and water-processing plants which bring water front Lake Erie. It would have led to the disclosure earlier of asbestos leaching from asbestos-ce-: ment pipe or from industrial water pollution in numerous cities. The drinking water bill must be reported out within three weeks by Chairman Staggers' committee or this truly historic effort to show how little it would cost (about $1 per American per year) to apply known technology for much purer drinking water will be lost. 3C-- May 26,1974 To bring this bill to a vote on the House floor before the impeachment process dominates the legislators' attention, three changes are necessary. First, the committee must stand up to the omnipresent oil lobbyists who want to block a provision dealing with contamination of underground water suppplies bv careless oil operations. As always, the men from the American Petroleum Institute want special congressional treatment. SECOND, the members of the Staggers committee must show up at the meetings in order to constitute a quorum. Some members, such as Congressman John McCollister of Nebraska or Congressman Dick Shoup of Montana, have been engaged in delaying and trivializing tactics that are demeaning and disgraceful to them. Fuller committee attendance will bring more support to the work of Congress- man Paul Rogers and his subcommittee majority who have worked hard on this bill. Third, Chairman Staggers must assume a vigorous role in completing committee consideration of the legislation soon. For several years, some of the more energetic committee members have chafed under Staggers' lack of leadership in getting the committee to consider bills before it with reasonable attentiveness. Bills languished in the committee long after the Senate Commerce Committee -no speedy unit itself -- has gotten parallel legislation through the Senate. Such attrition must not stop these efforts for drinking water standards which are so long overdue. So if you drink water, write to Congressman Staggers and your own member of the House of Representatives. They need to hear from you in some detail. N. Carolina's 'First* Demands Pay by Ear Otherwise. Tom Fesperman The great state of North Carolina, which has always wanted to be the first in something, has just made it. (I can say that because I'm a loving native. ) It has become the first state to authorize Ma Bell to charge 20 cents to make a call from a pay telephone. The pay phone users in all the other 49 states may as well get ready for this, because we're going into dominoes again just as surely as "0" stands for Operator. The gate is opened, the sheep will follow. If you've got any calls to make from telephone booths, you'd best run down now to the drug store or shopping center and get them ' made. · ALL OVER North Carolina, Ma Bell has sent her phone-fixers around to the booths to do some tinkering, to put up new signs and instructions, so she can start gathering in twice as many dimes as before. This is one of the most maddeningly infla- tionary things to happen in this price-bloated country. It's about the same as charging a quarter for a cup of poisonous coffee, a dollar for a gallon of regular gasoline, a buck-fifty for a styrofoam hamburger, seven-fifty for an old- fashioned haircut, a Kennedy half-dollar for a parking meter, ten bucks for a hula hoop, ten cents for one cheesey little postage stamp and twenty cents for a restroom closet. You already have to get a second mortgage to buy a bar of candy, and then you can hardly see it. But the thing that bothers me, even more than the expenditure of hard-earned money, is what the 20-cent phone call does to further pollute the air of casualness that once freshened life in the U. S. A. You have to think twice before you do anything any longer. They're killing impulse. » SOME OF THE greatest things we ever did were things we did because, suddenly, we fancied doing them; because, on the spur of the moment, we had a notion and acted on it; because of the magnificent feeling of impetuosity we got out of doing a thing without stopping to count pennies, nickels, dimes. High-finance accounting has now entered every phase of life. You used to hand Mr. Store Man a penny for some bubble gum, or you became the sole owner of a whopping Baby Ruth for a stray nickel, or you stepped on a scales and got your weight printed on a card, along with your fortune told, for a copper you'd found on the sidewalk nearby. That was back in those soft, hazy days when you could, as the old saying goes, play things by ear. Now you pay by ear. I weep for an old friend of mine who, I remember, started every phone conversation by saying: "Commence the conversation, it's your nickel." But the ones I weep for the most are all those kids who used to stop at the nearest phone booth and call home for a bit of a loan. Now they've got to be half-rich before they can even call. RICHARD LEE STROUT 2 Worlds Divide Washington Scene One is the DAR's Constitution Hall convention here last month. The President is expected any minute. Reporters crowd the side. There is a chasm of hostility between the nice ladies and the irreverent journalists. It is^art of the bewildering two w'orlds in which Washington is operating. The.Marine Band in red coats and its leader in tremendous bearskin hat come in. On the platform are leaders with sashes and corsages, and pages w e a r i n g a l l - w h i t e . Looking over the well- dressed, comfortable gathering, with blue-rinse hairdos, one has the feeling that all's well with America. The band strikes up the stirring Washington Post March by Sousa as jiobody but the Marine Band can play it. We lift.up our chins, patriotism oozes out like dew on a cucumber. Music like this stirs the blood; it could send somebody off to war. The c h a i r m a n , I mean chairwoman, I mean chairperson, asks can't the spot- light be turned on that big flag hanging from the ceiling? It is turned on. "0-o-o-oh," gasps the audience. »· NOW "Hail to the Chief." A deep masculine voice over the loudspeaker: "The President and Mrs. Nixon." He is in a dark suit, American flag lapel pin, beaming, waving, Mrs. Nixon seated behind him, on a platform with blue curtains and spangled drapes. It is his inspirational speech, we are hearing it over and over: all's right with the country; all's right with the economy. He has told other audiences that he is going to take charge of the economy himself now, and put it in shape. »· THAT'S one world. So now here's Scene Two in the same city. Dr. Arthur Burns, chairman of the Federal Reserve (Fed) enters a small room at 12:05 p.m. where 16 reporters sit at a U-shaped table, takes his place, unlimbers his pipe, produces a flat tobacco pouch, and strikes a match. The White House, the Pentagon and the Fed are centers of authentic power here. The Fed gets power from one fact: It is the nation's central bank controlling the faucet of credit. It can turn off or on to make money (credit) more plentiful or less plentiful. Easy credit and the economy hums, you get a job. Tight credit -- the economy slows, you lose a job. Board members on the Fed serve 12 years. They are as independ- /ent as judges. Dr. Burns tamps his pipe and lights match two. The pipe is drawing all right but he lights it again anyway. He has profuse, upstanding white hair parted in the center t h a t breaks over his forehead like a waterfall, or maybe like foam before the prow of a ship. He has an aquiline nose and looks like Bernard Baruch. Now he cuddles the pipe in his left hand and gently waves the burnt paper match in his right as he repeats a warning that he has been giving to congressional commit- JenkinL. Jones Cont. From Page 2C grams that have guaranteed either crushing taxes or gigantic deficits? What percentage of those hired-for-life federal judges who have chosen to legislate by interpretation could win a local election for keeper of the dog pound? What ukases from the Department of. Health, Education and Welfare could survive a local referendum? What are the real prospects for cradle-to-grave security in the face of a steadily eroding dollar? What will be the real effect upon the economy and the purchasing power of the average American if the great labor unions can come up with Congress in their bag? »· IN OUR increasingly dangerous cities antf suburbs, at what point will the theses of social theorists become buried under bloody statistics? If the broad outlines of liberal political philosophy are correct, Watergate can be viewed as a rerailer to speed us back upon the proper track. But if the track itself is crazy and broken the rerailing will be temporary. That's why this might be a very good year for ambitious young conservatives to run for public office, even at the risk of getting clobbered next fall. Those who stand for a philosophy t h a t is in t e m p o r a r y eclipse could "benefit handsomely when the eclipse passes. They would not be as Tom Paint put it, "summer soldiers and sunshine patriots." They would be remembered as having dug in at Valley Forge when the f a r e was sparse and the north winds shrewd. A veto-proof Congress might be a very good thing. If it were, indeed, largely subservient to big labor, the Eastern intellectual establishment and Big Brother pushers, it would have two years to slip" into a hell of a mess before 1976. Then the sadly interrupted counterrevolution could get going again. tees month after month, always more dire. The economy, in short, is in bad shape. Not bad, terrible. (It has grown worse since he made this utterance). The situation is coming out from concealment on the financial pages to the front pages, always a bad sign. Inflation is "two-digit" in his phrase; production is sinking; the cost of borrowing money is intolerable. · LISTENING to Burns there is a temptation to quote the President's State of the Union speech of last January. With that unctuous certitude of his he dismissed "perennial prophets of gloom" who predicted recession. "Well," he said, with a little burst of confidence, "let me speak to this issue head-on. There will be no recession in the United States of A m e r i c a . " Whoops. Cheers. (The economy has been falling ever since.) Dr. Burns isn't blaming anybody now. What he says in essence is a repetition of what he told Congress earlier: "The current worldwide inflation has no close parallel in the economic history of the industrialized world." The inflation-precipitating boom occurred simultaneously in all the big countries. "Inflation is now the dominant economic force in every major nation around the world." he says. Dr. B u r n s lights match three and puffs. The fascinated r e p o r t e r keeps count. Match five at 12:18. Aides speak and Dr. Burns puts in a word here and there. Sometimes he nurses the pipe and waves the match; sometimes he holds the match and rotates pipe; sometimes he throws everything into confusion by operating with the p o u c h . The Fed, he. says proudly, publishes more information and operates with less secrecy than any other central bank in the world. But he is serving notice: something has to be done to halt inflation and if nobody else will the Fed is going to squeeze credit. Not, he adds, that he won't come to the rescue if a crunch develops, but this is a time for action. (He told Congress last February something he implies again now: "The laws of: economics are not working as they once did.") Match sevem at 12:45. Men with great authority often have quiet voices. Dr. burns says spttly that the inflation rate is "very dangerous;" there is a "veritable explosion" of bankers' loans; if a halt isn't called "the country is going to be in great difficulty . . . . We are not going to sit back and prepare a monetary path for a continuation of rapid inflation." The thought comes as Dr. Burns lights match eight at 1:07. ». There are two separate worlds in Washington today -make-believe and reality. You can't reconcile them as you read about Watergate. On the economy front, for all the encouraging words of White House economist Herbert Stein, things are getting scary: production declining, inflation at 11.5 per cent, real earnings of workers lagging- behind prices for the 13th consecutive month, and workers' families with 5.6 per cent less to spend than a year ago. At this rate a $15,000-a-year man will need $30,000 in 1981 just to stay even. Nixon didn't create this slump, I think; it is global and has been developing for some time. He just didn't know what to do about it. World population is growing and raw materials are getting harder to find. Rich countries in 1973 were off balance anyway, with a boom that was turning sour, and along came a fourfold Arab increase in basic fuel prices. That triggered recession. Other countries get rid of unpopular governments easily; we can't. The Federal Power Commission warns of fuel shortages and brown-outs this summer but the President is too busy to urge thrift. Rightly or wrongly Arthur Burns has taken over. He lights another match. Watch your Mailbox forthis week's Kroger Mailer and Save on These XTRA Low Discount Prices! Copyright 1974, The Kroger Co. Items and Prices good May 26 thru June 1, 1974 in all Kanawha County Kroger Stores. We reserve the right to limit quantities. NONE SOLD TO DEALERS. U.S. Govt. Graded Choice ^ People's Choice Center Cut Bone In .Round Steak low Itmlg price, } deist Quitters! ·ill lick. iwit|s J.S. Govt. | for Wholesomeness Fresh Frying Mixed) Fryer Parts Ib.' Quarter Pork Loin Sliced Into Pork Chops Ib, Serve N' Save Sliced Bacon. U.S. Govt. Graded Choice People's Choice, Bone In Mb. Pkg. Steak Ib. Diet Pepsi or Regular Pepsi-Cola 16-02, Btls. Plus Deposit On. Kroger Hi-Nu2% Lowfat Milk . Kroger Sandwich Buns or Wiener ^ «-ct. Buns. For Laundry Magic Bleach Gal. Van Camp's " " El*. 4 Dan Dee Twin Pack s Potato 7-«. Chips Pkg U.S.D.A. Inspected Grade A Large VSr^ **/' DOT- Vine Ripe 12 Sixe Cantaloupe $ For Fresh Tender Sweet lorn . . . E Vine Ripe Salad Tomatoes..' Ib. Kroger Memorial Day Store Hours All Charlesion Area Kroger Stores Will Be Open Monday, May 27 ' 10 a.m. 'til TjMti^'- ; : . Except Kqnqwhd City Open'* to ' , Tedy ; s Valley, Open 12 to 6-Dunbpr 12 to 6 . Marmet, Nitro and Belle Closed

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