Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on June 9, 1974 · Page 30
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June 9, 1974

Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 30

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Charleston, West Virginia
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Sunday, June 9, 1974
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'What was your house going to be made of?' FANNY SE[LER: Affairs of State PSC Data Now Secret The public can't go to the Public Service Commission any longer to find out where electric utilities buy their coal. That information has become secret since it was reported here a year ago that' Carbon Fuel, whose vice president is Newton Thomas Jr., sold $1,292,464 worth of coal in 1972 to Appalachian Power Co. Thomas was in the news at the time because he was serving on the State Air Pollution Control Commission and made a motion to delay consideration of timetables for a sister company of Appalachian Power to meet clean air standards. With the information secret, the public can't tell for itself whether electric bills are going up because utilities are buying Western coal. The Public Service Commission is supposed to be the public's protector, but the catch comes in what's called a fuel adjustment clause. A utility automatically can raise prices to electricity users if the cost of its fuel goes up after the PSC has granted a rate increase. * * * THE PSC reviews these periodically, but it doesn't have the staff to keep on top of the situation. Or at least that was the excuse given by the PSC to the legislature when the Senate Judiciary %GAZETTE-MAIL Charleston, West Virginia June 9,1974 Page2C Vol. 18 No. 23 Who'd Litter Money? - John Quarles, deputy chief of the ^Environmental Protection Agency, ^;calls it our "no-deposit, no-return attitude," and the great problem facing vAmerica is how to rid ourselves of it. ^ · Tax containers to finance the cost "of litter collection? Maybe. But such a tax might be considered a license to clutter the highways with throways. $ *· Ban outright the sale of no-deposit containers? It has been done. In South Dakota. But there's an uneasy feeling of unfair government suppression of a segment of the economy. ·- +· Require refunds on reusable containers? We like this idea. It is working very well in Oregon and Vermont. It leaves the marketplace free and provides incentive for reusable containers. · Possible federal legislation now fending takes the Oregon-Vermont approach. It would require a 2-cent refund on containers that can be reused interchangably by different bottling firms. It would require a 5-cent refund on all other beverage containers, whether bottles or cans. It seems to us that the time has come for national legislation to rid us of the "no-deposit, no-return attitude." Litter has become a monumental problem in our civilization, from both an esthetic point of view and an economic point of view. Litter adds greatly to the cost of clearing away roadside and municipal refuse. Reports from Oregon indicate that the refund plan is working well. Littering is discouraged when one contemplates throwing away something that can be exchanged for money. Nobody -- not even the throwaway Tinderbox Security * A final Middle Eastern peace settlement is vital, not merely because of Che humane desire,to see an end to 25 jears of fighting but also because the Conflict was inexorably pitting superpower "interested parties" against each other. ^·World peace, in fact, relies upon Middle East peace. The limited Syrian-Israeli agreement should be but the prelude to a lasting arrangement. ;The American Enterprise Institute, a conservative-oriented, Washington- Delivery Is Certain Today's anti-inflation suggestion: Don't mail your end-of-the-month checks to business and professional creditors in downtown Charleston. Hand deliver them, instead. · A reader has informed us that by adopting this procedure she saved 60 cents without inconvenience to her. She merely waited until other matters brought her downtown. In these days, the saving of 60 cents is a considerable accomplishment. And hand delivery has the advantage, too, of relieving the postal service's Work load. There's one more advantage, which we hesitate to mention in the wstal service's presence: by doing t yourself you can be sure of delivery. based foreign policy association, has issued a new publication on the Arab- Israeli military balance. It brings home exactly what continued fighting would bring the world* It is no secret that Russian arms bolster the Arab side and that American arms are provided Israel. The Arab states are client nations of the Russians, and it might as well be put bluntly that Israel is a client nation of the United States. Each escalation of fighting in the Middle East means escalation of rivalries between the two big powers as well as a rush to resup- ply the combatants with weapons. The American Enterprise Institute contends logically that renewed fighting would be done with more sophisticated weapons because each resuppiy effort on the part of Russia and the United States is undertaken with new and improved arms. At the same time, says AEI, each client nation would be more dependent on its sponsor. Such a situation would bring the risk of direct confrontation. Confrontation would mean the end of the world as we know it. It behooves both Russian and American diplomats to work tirelessly to make the peace settlement a permanent one. It behooves Arabs and Israelis alike to accept compromises as an alternative to the outbreak of a fiery global war which nobody could win. The Middle East is a tinderbox if ever there was one, and every American should try to understand that remoteness doesn't by any means mean security. container industry -- has disputed reports that the refund plan is working well in Oregon, the first state to try it. There, and in Vermont, the person who prepares to heave a bottle or can onto the roadside is restrained by the knowledge that he is about to throw away something that can be exchanged for money. There is little permanent damage wreaked by those who don't mind throwing away money. Scavengers swarm over the Oregon countryside, demonstrating the urge to profit that marks the American system. Opposition to any kind of legislation to curb the use of reusable containers comes from manufacturers of throwaway container, from beverage producers, and from labor unions. That opposition is understandable. Studies conducted by the EPA show that thousands of jobs would be eliminated if nonreturnable containers are squeezed off the market. On the other hand, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that there would be a great resurgence of jobs in the same occupational category. Somebody has to make the reusable containers. It is worth mentioning that a bottle plant added to this area's economy up until it was shut down by the popularity of throwaways. Confounding A Precedent The Air Force has produced a memo in support of its unauthorized, bombing raids on Cambodia -- to be exact, 3,630 bombing raids during 1969 and 1970. The memo prepared by a legal officer claims authority by reason of precedent. The precedents he thereupon cites are taken from World War II. The World War II deceptions included the timing of the invasion of Europe, variously given in order to create confusion; the secret development of the atomic bomb, and secret construction of air bases in Latin America. We cannot comprehend the analogy, if one exists. Instead, we see a clear distinction. World War II deception was practiced for the obvious purpose of confounding an enemy, while the Cambodian deception was practiced for the purpose of confounding Congress, v Committee was considering a bill to require the PSC to review significant price increases under the fuel adjustment clause when coal was imported from outside the state. The bill died, but since then State Sen. Allan Susman, D- Raleigh, has called for an end of the fuel adjustment clause. Here's what is happening with coal prices. Appalachian Power is paying as much as 400 per cent more per million BTU on recent coal purchases. BTU is the method of measuring heat value of coal. In 1969, Appalachian Power paid an average of $5.01 per ton, or between $3.90 and $6.44 a ton. In 1973, the firm paid from $7.09 to $27.81 a ton. So far in 1974, some costs have been spiraling beyond $30 a ton. The reason it's important to know where the coal is coming from becomes obvious when 1973 coal purchases are reviewed. The $27.81 per ton was primarily freight costs to ship the coal from Utah to the John Amos plant. The freight cost $402,735 on 20,811 tons of coal. The coal itself cost only $172.941. But without the information being public, the electric consumer doesn't have any way of knowing where the coal is coming from even though the higher costs will show up in his bill. It's like adding salt to the wound to think Western coal -- so costly to transport -may take the place of West Virginia coal which can have twice the heating capacity "as coal stripped in the West. »· SHORTS -- State Police Supt. R.L. Bonar reportedly is shook up about the legislative investigation of his department . . . American Electric Power is assuring West Virginians it won't use Western coal in plants in this state, but persons close to the situation say as much as up to 30,000 tons a month of coal from the West may be burned at John Amos . . . Gov. Moore has until June 28 to voice objection to an environmental impact statement to the Federal Coal L e a s i n g P r o g r a m . If he doesn't, it's presumed the Governor approves of the program which refers to high sulfur coal being available in the East, and down plays low sulfur coal in the East . . . House Speaker Lewis McManus, D-Raleigh, hasn't missed a legislative day in his 10 years of service, and missed only a dozen votes while being present for 6,000 votes. He was on conference committees when he missed the dozen . . . Department heads wish privately they had their budgets . . . Carol Atkinson, who works for the legislature during regular sessions, is expecting her fourth child soon . . . W. W. Barren will be eligible for parole next March . . . Ron M i l l e r has been named full-time director of ' the travel division in the Department of Commerce .. . COMMERCE Commissioner Lysander Dudley is moving his family to Morgantown in three weeks. His staff gave him a combined farewell and birthday party recently and presented him with a portable television set along with a plaque of appreciation to the boss. He's 43 years old ... Commissioner Dudley received a postcard from vacationers in the Bahamas with this noted: "It isn't Almost Heaven here. It is heaven." The card was from W. E. Chilton III and wife, Betty, who left the cares of The Charleston Gazette b e h i n d . . . Look for more industrial development announcements soon . . . Gov. Moore was trying last Thursday to lure an industrial prospect. .. Secretary of State Edgar "Hike" Heiskell III has other investigations of election law violations pending. The arrest last week of the Fayette County clerk was the first of more to come . . . Joe Laurita, Republican nominee for Congress in the First District, visited Charleston last week and is confident he'll win in November ... The Moore administration is beginning to look like homecoming for men who were summit of Mountain, ranking men's honorary fraternity at West Virginia University. There's new Workmen Compensation Commissioner Rick Becker, Tax Commissioner R i c h a r d D a i l e y , F i n a n c e Commissioner Ron Pearson, Welfare Commissioner Edwin Flowers and Flower's assistant, Tom Tinder. Gov. Moore was, too ... House Speaker McManus and Senate President W. T. Brotherton, Jr., D- Kanawha, each received a handsome plaque from U.S. Sen. R o b e r t C. B y r d , D- W.Va., which expresses his appreciation for the reception Byrd got when he spoke to the legislature in the regular session . . . Democratic politi- cans say the message on Gov. Moore's Chinese cookie was "three is one too many" -terms that is ... Speaker M c M a n u s addressed the first annual meeting of West Virginia Oil Jobbers-Distributors Assn. at Pipestem last week . . . Tax Commissioner Dailey was in Portland, Ore., last week for a National Association of Tax Administrators conference . . . The Public Service Commission gets more complaints about General Telephone Co. than it does from all the other utilities . . . The Charleston law firm of James, Wise, Robinson Magnuson charged American Electric Power $87,222 in 1973 for legal costs BARBARA Boiarsky, widow of Ivor Boiarsky, visited Charleston last week, returning Saturday to her home in San Antonio. Tex . . . Joffre Roland, executive vice president of Fourco Glass, was hospitalized last week . . . Several notable. Republicans, one a precinct captain, are talking about their reluctance to push Magistrate Herb Pauley as a candidate for State Senate over incumbent Sen. Si Galperin, Jr. The GOP is concentrating on the other senatorial LETTERS Page Horrible Editor: The Charleston Newspapers continue to show their contempt daily and Sunday, to many of their, readers by refusing to print complete New York Stock Exchange reports as is done by newspapers in cities which Charleston would consider itself superior to in size and financial standing. A glaring case in point is. as you well know, Huntington, whi'ch at least prints the weekly summary of the complete listing. The refusal of the Charleston papers to do at least as much for their readers as the Huntington papers do has of course been snidely explained away many times. But the t r u e reasons can o n l y be "greed" and a contempt for their small town readership. This contempt business can work both ways, and the real purpose of this letter is to express my utter contempt for the ridiculously poor judge- ment used in the makeup of the "Market Activity" page in the issue of J u n e 2, 1974. Items: The New York Exchange listing was condensed by five and one half column inches or- 11 per cent less than the usual "AP selected issues" listing. This was accomplished by deleting more than half of the issues beginning with the letter A. and then snipping out a few issued here and there throughout the list. This is petty chiseling of space of the most contemptible order. The worst thing about this type of deletion is that it makes the list al- most useless because it cannot be depended upon. Almost as bad as the chiseling of bits of space from the listings is the stupidity exhibited in wasting the precious space of which you seem to have all too little. The pictorial charts in the upper right hand corner of the page were expanded from six and one half column, inches in past issues to 16 and one half column inches this week. These crude charts convey every bit as m u c h i n f o r m a t i o n i n the smaller format as they do in the larger, so thereby 10 column inches of space were wasted. This is almost twice the space that was saved by deleting at least 65 issues from the already skimpy listing. The mutual fund listing was expanded from 19 column inches in the last Sunday paper to 32 column inches this week. I will not put down the needs of mutual fund followers, but I believe that it is difficult to fairly defend an 11.5 per cent reduction in NYSE listings while expanding mutual fund listings by 68 per cent. The frequent deletions from an already skijnpy list, the "comic book" type charts you so generously expanded for us "morons" is typical of your contempt for us. Please be advised that we will hold the same contempt for you until you see fit to print the financial news and data commensurate with the general standing of newspapers in cities of JEN KIN L. JONES Losing Race The bad news was that Amtrak f r o m New York was three hours late into St. Louis the other day. The good news was that the train hadn't fetched up in an Indiana cornfield. I had stood for an hour at the rear window of the last Pullman looking at the wreckage of the Penn Central. Slow orders of 15 or 20 miles an hour were not occasional. They were chronic. The rotten ties and mud-boiled ballast proved their wisdom. · AND I remembered how, as a youth, I had sat popeyed on the dust-blown brass observation platforms of The Ameri, can and The Spirit of St. Louis and watched the same scenery go by at 80. It serves no purpose to denounce the at best inept-ex- management of the Penn Central which kept bleeding off cash into dubious side ventures and doggedly paid divi- d e n d s w h i l e b a n k r u p t c y loomed. We are faced, as Grover Cleveland said, not with a theory but with a situation. The situation is that America's most important railroad is losing about a million dollars a day. So last winter Congress passed a Regional Rail Reorganization Act, and the idea was to put seven insolvent Northeast rail carriers, including the huge Penn Central, into a single corporation, abandon about a quarter of the trackage, consolidate yards and restore the remaining physical plant so that the trains could really operate. The U.S. Treasury would have to angel the improvements, but hopefully the corporation would eventually be able feo pay the debt and a gov- ernment takeover would be avoided. There was no question about the need for paring a physical plant built in the days when goods moved across America only by wagon, river packet or rail. Only 1 per cent of U.S. rail trackage sees as much as a train an hour. Thirty per cent of the' Eastern rail mileage carries fewer than one and one-half trains each way a day. Take Philadelphia. According to Trains magazine, in an area 10 miles by 15 miles there are 500 miles of "main" track, 300 miles of siding and 23 yards. All this is designed to serve 1,800 Philadelphia- area shippers. Yet 36 of them provide more than half the business. · OBVIOUSLY, here's a pruning job. The only possible way to keep the mess off the backs of the taxpayers is to let it restructure itself so that it can make a buck. And that was the hope of Congress. But almost immediately Congress started ruining the plan. In a gigantic giveway to the railroad brotherhoods, it was written into the bill that employes of more than five years' seniority would be guaranteed jobs or at least pay if no jobs existed. What this means is that all other citizens, including members of other unions, who have to take their chances on their own employment must guarantee life incomes for 24-year- old railroaders who went to work at 19. It was the biggest labor gouge in history. Then the business "establishment,' T1 which should know better, has combined to guarantee the failure of this effort to preserve 1 *^ large hunk of race, involving John Poffenbarger. Del. Roland Savilla is running against Poffenbarger Charles McNutt is returning to his job in the purchasing division Monday after a long illness . . . Environmentalists are upset with a letter from Interior Secretary Rogers C.; B. Morton to Rep. James A. Haley, chairman of the House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. Morton opposed the prohibition in the strip mining bill against surface mining in national forests. He's already opposed a prohibition of surace mining in na- t'onal parks, refuges, wilderness and wild areas and scenic rivers . . . this class. H. C. Taylor, 4510 Noyes Ave., City No Rose Garden Editor: In regard to the board members' objections to the books. The student's letter was good. Life is not a rose garden and it should be told "like it is." If a student reads the article in last Sunday's Gazette-Mail about-the prostitute then he can read any book. The article was indeed terrible as some stories in the Bible. I doubt the board member allowing students to read in the book of Proverbs about the whore that called in the man off the street, telling Mm the master is gone on a long journey. She paid her church dues, and her beds were all smelling good. Oh yes, the Sunday prostitute story belittled a man so bad. Yet, lest one forget, man is only trying to get a baby, and prostitutes have babies, too. They call them trick babies. So who really gets "tricked" sometimes? The whore gets a bastard baby and the public a welfare recipient. So the man that paid the price of a few dollars forgoes the cost of marriage and $20,000 cost to plan the child. Fred Coleman 128 Kent St. City free enterprise. It wasn't merely the chambers of commerce of those little towns that stood to lose their only rail line. Practically every town that was scheduled to lose 100 yards of railroad descended on Washington. The commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation grandly declared that all the 1,800 miles deemed surplus in that state can be justified on grounds of traffic, environmental protection or community need. KNOW IT IS true that a viable railroad system can include branch lines that lose some money. Otherwise, railroads could cut themselves back to a few miles of rich main line. But there must be a reasonable minimum income per mile on branches below which communities .or individual shippers must agree to pick up the difference or submit to abandonment. What the riow-and-then shipper on the hopelessly uneconomic branch is demanding is a transportation subsidy that must be made up by higher- than-necessary rail rates on other lines. This is a tax, first, against other shippers and, finally, against the consuming public. Much of America's genuinely needed rail system is losing the great rust and rot race because of the financial hemorrhage caused by s u r p l u s trackage. Our options are ridiculously simply: a restructuring to the point where private enterprise can work again, or no restructuring and a government takeover. Is there any taxpayer who wants another post office?

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