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'Help! Let go of that tentacle' FANNY SEILER: Affairs of State Probe:'What's Up?' An investigation of the Department of Public Safety by the legislature is envisioned by advocates as a way to find out what's wrong with administrative and personnel policies. The consensus is that the department is demoralized, promotions often are based on friendship and transfers are likely to be made as a penalty. The investigation will be an opportunity to either dispel or confirm that. Â· IT'S SIGNIFICANT that this is the second investigation since 1971 of the Department of Public Safety--a once extremely proud force--under the tenure of Supt. R. L. Bonar. Many of the complaints heard in 1971 have only become louder and are voiced by more of the men on the force. It's also significant that the Democratic and the Republican leadership in the House of Delegates couldn't stop the resolution which provides for the investigation between now and next January. A dozen Republicans and 16 Democrats voted against suspending the House rules so that the resolution could be taken up for immediate consideration, and many of them were in leadership positions, principally on the rules committee to which the resolution would have been referred if there hadn't been an immediate vote. The rules committee already had a similar resolution ^GAZETTE-MAIL Charleston, West Virginia, June 2,1974 Page 2E Vol.18 No. 22 Rails Need Incentive . A m e r i c a n railroads were con- vast acreage acquired by railroads 100 *- Waterways -- Up $215 million to cerned, and rightly so, when commer- years ago through the right of confis- $532 million. cial aviation flourished with the aid of billions of dollars of tax money poured into airport construction. cation. Public monies available to high speed ground transportation are But that was 100 years ago. Since dwarfed by comparison. Federal The railroads built their own sta- then, except for the recent case of grants totaling $155 million are sched- tions, it was pointed out by the Asso- public support of the Penn Central uled to be paid during the year to Am- ciation of American Railroads. No- system, railroads have been largely trak. Railroads will make no profits thing was said, of course, about the on their own. In the case of public sup- from the grants to the National Rail- port of air commerce, the tax money road Passenger Corp., a quasipublic keeps rolling in. Trust First Consideration Among the arguments of Spiro Agnew's attorneys was the utterly absurd one that his license to practice law shouldn't be taken from him because of the high office he formerly held. . This argument could have been better employed by Agnew's opponents in the Maryland Court of Appeals. The fact that he was vice president of the United States should have made it imperative that Agnew be disbarred. Criminal behavior is criminal behavior, in high office or not. But if distinctions are to be made, betrayal of the public trust should be considered. The railroad association's Econom- institution. A total of $45 million has been earmarked for railroad research and development, from which, pre- bottled up, which, if anything, was more restricted in scope than the one adopted. Â· Democrats and Republicans in the legislature are well aware of the problems, which resolution sponsor, Del. Ervin Queen, D-Logan, said had been talked about in the hallways and in caucuses. Sen. Warren McGraw, D- Wyoming, who had sponsored a similar resolution in the Senate, publicly acknowledges there's a feeling among legislators that state policemen are promoted and transferred on the basis of friendship and penalties. They suspect there isn't any uniform recognition for work well done. K THE SENATE had thought about providing subpoena powers in the resolution, but the Joint Committee on Government and Finance already has that power, and the upper chamber didn't want to take the chance of returning the r e s o l u t i o n to the House. Usually the joint committee has a subcommittee which does the actual work, along with legislative staff. The subpoena power was used by the joint committee in 1971, largely to protect the policemen who testified. The department has a strict regulation about its members making public expressions, or any statements which would reflect on the department and superintendent. McGraw believes the committee would do well to use the subpoena power this time, and to have the members find out what the 1971 investigation revealed. The transcript of testimony is locked in a vault, and the contents never were made public. *Â· SHORTS-Joe Delia left Friday as risk manager for the State Board of Insurance, to accept a job with a large insurance firm in New York. Delia won the state national recognition as a pioneer in the field of self insurance coverage and a program to reduce risks by eliminating hazards-- . . . Joe Vitale, an investigator for the Purchasing, Practices and Procedures Commission, suffered a serious heart attack last week and remains in intensive care at Charleston General Hospital. State Democratic Chairman and Sen. J. C. Dillon, D-Summers, is home after a week in the hospital for tests,... Sen. J. D. Hinkle Jr., R-Upshur, still is hospitalized from a heart attack . . . Pat Browning, wife of Atty. Gen. Chauncey Browning, is home after being in the hospital. Mrs. Browning suffered a miscarriage on Mother's Day. She had been ill since the couple flew in a twin-engine plane to Williamsburg Va., for a conference. Mrs. Browning was J T71 - T-* i A l l -~^.-. v .. u , Â·Â«. v ..* ., Â»Â»x,Â»*, f * v* i t i tUV-C. iMJL Â«3. Ut W V U i l J g WOO ics and * mance Department last surnab iy, there may be long range rail sitting directly behind an en- week sent out its estimate that gov- Dro fjtg ernment expenditures for transportation facilities will increase to a record The picture is a little one-sided. onn u-n- Â«.- j xt. i -i ., Floundering rail systems are given $29 billion this year and that railroads little incentiye to recover unless th will get very few of these dollars. become bankrupt . Profitable systems The big part of the outlay will go for are makin Â§ a *Â° of il throu g h thrift y support of domestic air, highway, and water transportation. The associa- practices, good management, and fortunate location near the point of origin tion, observing that railroads main- of steady shi P ments - tain their own right of ways at a cost Unec l ual competition is what the of about 25 cents from every dollar taken in, released these figures to show increased public support of a nonrail transportation since 1952: railroads call it, and they have prepared a convincing argument. Â·-Airports -- Up $20 million to $258 million this year. Â»-Cash subsidies to airlines -- Up $32 million to $73 million. Â·-Highways -- Up $584 million to $5.1 billion. School Files Chilling It was with some shock that we learned of the existence of Kanawha County public school student dossiers, containing teacher impressions of character flaws. And our anxiety wasn't relieved by an announcement that the files on students presently in the first five grades and students-yet-to-be will be open to inspection. .The need to maintain such files at a'lljs open to argument. There-is no excuse for maintaining secrecy about the files of students presently in grades beyond f.he fifth and students who have graduated from the school System. We recognize that schools have to keep extensive student records, Jbut the polgntial for abuse is great."" particularly object to teacher evaluations of student character. Anyone gaining access to such unsubstantiant- ed judgments could cause great harm. It wouldn't damage the system in the slightest if student files were destroyed when the student graduates. In the case of students still in school, their parents should have access to the files, and parental challenges should be evaluated also, with an eye to making the record defensible. The very concept of the dossier is repugnant to libertarians. School record keeping shouldn't be permitted to cross over the thin line beyond which lies the kind of bureaucratic secrecy that threatens American tr^di- tion. Cent Myth Reinforced Offering incentives in the form of cash or certificates for bringing pennies to a bank strikes us as self- defeating because it perpetuates the myth that a penny is worth more than one cent. That myth hangs on, and the pennies desperately needed for everyday commerce doubtless are hidden away in coffee cans and mayonnaise jars. We have a sneaking suspicion that premiums presently being offered aren't going to bring them out. And we have the opinion that the best thing to do is let them remain in the cans and jars and go right ahead with the minting of aluminum pennies. The authorization to do so was killed by the objections of vending machine interests who based their opposition on the curious ground that a l u m i n u m pennies w o u l d n ' t work in their vending equipment. We say it is a curious ground because it has been many years since we saw a vending machine that accepted pennies of any kind. Ah ha, you say -- w h a t of the gumball m a c h i n e s . Ah ha, say we. We checked. They'll take a l u m i n u m pennies. gine that stopped operating enroute. She remained in Williamsburg for six days until she was able to travel, and upon returning to Charleston was hospitalized . . . Gov. Moore told his news conference last week after returning from China: "It's nice to be back in God's country, believe me." Moore said the six governors who made the Chinese trip stood up with a rousing chorus of "God Bless America" when the plane touched down in Seattle. And he said when they saw the blue and white United States of Amerca ship setting on the apron in Shanghai after touring the mainland, everybody started photographing their own ship to make sure they weren't dreaming... the way some lawyers felt about the circuit clerk's race in the Democratic primary was evident in the Holtz school precinct where Phyllis Rutledge clobbered incumbent Jack Kinder . . . IS UNITED Mine Workers Union President Arnold Miller planning to run for State Senate two years from now? . . . The report is that Del. Albert Sommerville, D-Webster, told Speaker Lewis McManus, D- Raleigh, he and several other Democrats couldn't support McManus for speaker in 1975 if Del. Billy Burke, D-Gilmer, was on the finance committee. Maybe that is Sommerville's way of vying for the speakership . . . James Meadows of Lewisburg has been retained by Senate President W. T. Brother ton, Jr., D-Kanawha, and Speaker McManus to report to them the provisions of the new federal wage and hour law which affect legislative employes . . . Lt. Col, Lawrence Craft is doing well after surgery in a Charleston hospital. Craft, incidently, has Supt. Bonar in an embarrassing box. Bonar thought Craft was going to retire and had already cut orders on promotions to fill the transfers before Craft signed his retirement papers. Craft never has signed them and he doesn't have to retire on the basis of age for another year . . . Secretary of State Edgar Heiskell III gets mail addressed to the lieutenant governor of West Virginia. The state doesn't have a lieutenant governor . . . Del. Phyllis Given. D-Kanawha, feels it was unfair for the Gazette to single her out as a Democrat voting with Republicans on three of four supplemental bills opposed by the Democratic leadership. There are other examples then. '(However, she's the only Kanawha County Democratic delegate who voted for as many as three of the four bills). . . In Raleigh County, there's talk that Paul Vennari, recently elected West Virginia Education Assn. president, is mounting a campaign to get J a m e s Stone's job at the WVEA. Vennari is a principal at Beckley junior high school . . . Employes in the Department of Employment Security want to have a sick strike because they're so frustrated about the lack of merit raises U. S. SEN. Barry Goldwater, R-Arizona, will be one of 80 graduates of the University of Hard Knocks and will receive his diploma Monday night in Charleston. Sen. Jennings Randolph, D-W. Va.. LETTERS 4 Not Too Keen' Tells Her Side Editor: The letter I am writing refers to the article by Martha Smith called "In Frametown, They Call Her 'Ms. Coach' ". I am the lady who is reported as being "not too keen" in your last week's issue. Since I was specifically mentioned, I will present the rest of the facts behind Ms. Coach's stunning success. I was not the only one not too keen on Mrs. Chapman's taking over that team. At a name-calling, mud-slinging meeting of the so-called PTA which she so highly praised (it is not affiliated with National PTA) Dick Arnold was voted out as coach -- not by the parents of ball players, but by friends and husband of Mrs. Chapman. Every parent voting to keep him in as coach had either boys on the team or a cheerleader who rooted for it. Only two couples having boys playing ball voted to kick him out. Their boys had quit the team, and Mr. Arnold would not let them join again. Also, one couple felt that their boy was not getting to play. In reply to these complaints, "Ms. Coach" had written a letter to Mr. Arnold which he read before the en- t i r e PTA. It s t a t e d t h a t : "Winning is important, but it is not the main objective.. Seeing that each child gets a chance to participate is." This is in direct opposition to your quote that "... She likes winning best of all." In that letter, "Ms. Coach" also said that each boy should get to play approximately one minute out of each half. Anyone who watched those games would tell you that she ran the first string most of the time, and would usually play what she considered the poorer players for as little as 28 seconds per game, or not at all. When Dick Arnold was coach, my boys played; when Virgin- ia Chapman took over, they sat on the bench most of the time. Perhaps Virginia Chapman's regretful chuckle might be swallowed if she realized that the other teams were listed by the coach's last names b e c a u s e there were f i v e teams from Gassaway, and this distinguished between them. She was not put down as a woman; there was only one team from Frametown, and it was called the Frametown team when Mr. Arnold was coach, too. As for the team, it was already excellent. Mr. Arnold had worked with the boys for two years, and they had won two games out of three before "Ms. Coach" took over. The groundwork was already laid. Not only did people get up and leave before Frametown played their games, but several people who had formerly attended all the Frametown games didn't go anymore after the totally unfair PTA meeting in w h i c h "Ms. Coach" took the team. Also, the time period of 7 and 8 o'clock was a consideration to the Frametown participants. They were scheduled at this time so "Ms. Coach" and especially the younger boys would have a chance to go home, eat supper, and make the 11 mile trip to the gym. As far as the male ego is concerned, I believe that the male coaches have nothing to be ashamed of, for some of the coaches have given years of their time and energies to the betterment of the little league program; and at no time have they looked down for a losing season, or raised themselves upon a pedestal for a winning season. Now for field day. Frametown did not "sweep" county field day. Gassaway was first with 35 points; Sutton was second with 25'/2 points; Burns- RALPH NADER Prices Fall WASHINGTON - A successful way to fight inflation is for the government to enforce the old antimonopoly laws against price-fixing, concentrated corporate power in the marketplace, and other anticompetitive practices. Consider the recent case of falling General Electric light bulb prices in New York City as an illustration. On April 3, General Electric announced the dismantling of its 62-year-old system of requiring retailers to sell its bulbs under certain conditions as to prices and terms. GE's move was prompted by a federal court ruling in 1973 holding GE in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act for setting such restrictions and keeping prices artificially high. Almost immediately, several supermarkets announced that they would drop the price of a p a c k a g e of f o u r GE 100-watt light bulbs from a range of $1.39 d o w n to 99 cents. Times Square stores went further down, selling a similar package of GE bulbs for 69 cents. h- SUCH PRICE declines have occurred after other antitrust enforcement. In 1964, the Fede r a l T r a d e C o m m i s s i o n stopped a bread price-fixing conspiracy in the Se3ttle-Ta- coma area which cost consumers there about $35 million during the 10-year period of bread dropped over the next two years, reaching the lower national average for bread prices in 1966. The price of the antibiotic tetracycline was retailing for about $51 per 100 tablets between 1953 and 1961. After exposure by a congressional committee and an antimonopoly suit by the federal government, the price had declined in 1971 to $5 for the same quantity. P r e s e n t l y , the Federal Trade Commission is locked in battle with the giant food and oil companies to break up monopoly power in those two industries and save consumers billions of dollars a year. But there is very little recognition by either political party of the role that anticom- petitive practices and monopoly market power play in feeding the inflationary spiral. This is not because economists have neglected to tell them. Rather it is because neither party has the public courage to make the concentrated market power of giant corporations into a reasoned campaign issue. t- IN RECENT years, economic studies have developed an explanation of much contemporary inflationary trends which is called the "seller- push inflation," where prices are pushed up witfiout the spur of excess demand. Traditionally, inflation was ex- and a college graduate, will introduce him at the ceremony. The "university" grants degrees to successful people who don't have a college degree. There have been requests from California and other states by prominent people to graduate . . . Sen. Warren McGraw, D- Wyoming, has his eye on the attorney general's race, depending on what Chauncey Browning does . . . There's been some talk that Browning wants to run for State Supreme Court. . . Maneuvering is under way to elect county chairmen, and the new chairmen may reflect the direction the Democratic party will take the next four years--old- line or new-line Democrats. ville was t h i r d w i t h 20Vz p o i n t s : F r a m e t o w n w a s fourth with 19 points.lt was first in limited enrollment; this was in 5th and 6th grade groups. I believe this is on record if anyone would care to check. So many of us have wondered why the uniforms were washed every night, when they were only used once a week. After "Ms. Coach" got in charge of them, they hardly got out of her sight. I, for one, would have gladlv washed the boys, uniforms to have saved that busy lady from one more nasty chore. But I was never asked. Also, I do not know which of the ball players' parents paid for that coach's trophy. I only know that my two sons were not asked to contribute any money, nor was Mr. Arnold's son. While most other coaches let third graders start out in basketball, "Ms. Coach" will start at the fourth grade level. Perhaps the smaller ones are not professional enough to "run the socks off everyone in the tournament." Because of the article in your paper, there is some discussion that Frametown will not get to play at Gassaway next year. The people who take their time to make the games available for the children feel that if Frametown is not satisfied, then they should drop out of the games. As for Ms. Coach's sign above the d e s k : I too am strong, am invincible, am a woman -- and a mother who dried tears when boys did not get to play and did not get a whole uniform. The letter which I spoke about also stated that people who have made an effort to see the games shouldn't be rewarded by seeing their children sit on the bench. This is just what my reward was. Mary S. Lewis Strange Creek vacancy and others made by of tfSjt lawlessness. The price plained by 'gie phenomenon of too much money chasing too few goods. But in these times of contrived shortages, price increases by companies with excess capacity, and big companies amplifying their vast market power with their political power over government economic policies, seller-push inflation needs the attention of a broader public audience from the grass roots to Washington. President Johnson's Cabinet committee on price stability issued a report in December 1968 which saw the need to develop more vigorous procom- petition policies. But then Nixon took over with other ideas more indentured to the preferences of big business for corporate socialism. Meanwhile, back at the Justice Department's Antitrust Division, unique stirring are observable. The lawyers are actually preparing for the first time a pamphlet explaining to the citizen what antitrust laws do for the consumer, the cost of living, and economic democracy. Hopefully, the pamphlet will also suggest ways that small business and consumers can help the division do its job more effectively and comprehensively. You can put your name on the waiting list for this pamphlet by writing to Asst. Atty. Gen. Thomas E. Kauper, Antitrust Division, Justice Department, Washington, D. C. 20530.