Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on August 17, 1975 · Page 62
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 62

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 17, 1975
Page 62
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Page 62 article text (OCR)

GAZETTE-M.\iL Editorials Election Reform? This State? After his 1968 election. Secretary of State John D. Rockefeller IV. a Democrat, again and again lobbied the West Virginia Legislature to enact a decent campaign finance disclosure law. After his 1972 election. Secretary of State Edgar F. Heiskell III, a Republican, again and again lobbied the West Virginia Legislature to enact a decent campaign finance disclosure law. And this winter, it is safe to predict, recently appointed Secretary of State James McCartney will ask West Virginia lawmakers to enact a campaign finance disclosure law with teeth in it. Ashland Oil's illegal $20.000 corporate contribution to Gov. Arch A. Moore Jr. in 1972 has served to point up the squishy softness of this state's campaign disclosure law. the Governor acknowledged receiv- ing the money but apparently didn't report it. Weak as state law is. it does require candidates and committees to list amounts and donors' last names and first initials. The legislature's Joint Committee on Government and Finance is investigating Ashland's campaign gift to the Governor to determine whether he violated state law in accepting but not reporting the donation. We have no quarrel with this investigation. The Governor has been less than frank in explaining the Ashland contribution. His sole statement on the matter provided the day the information became public that he was among those politicians the oil company had slopped, was a smokescreen. He had no idea, the statement said, that the funds given him were from a corporation, not from an individual and. therefore, unlawful. Moreover, the statement continued, he had a letter from Ashland certifying that he had had no way of knowing the funds were illegal. The sticky wicket for Gov. Moore, however, has nothing to do with the legality of the Ashland gift and everything to do with the question: Governor, did you report it? It's not a difficult question, but the Governor has had maximum difficulty answering it. In fact, he hasn't answered it. Consequently, the interim committee should be looking into this smelly incident. Yet fairness dictates that the committee also look long and searchingly at itself. Principal responsibility for the shennanigans and excesses money plays in West Virginia primary and general elections rests with the legislature and its leaders, who have been told repeatedly what ought to be done and provided repeatedly with model legislation. The harsh truth is that most legislators don't want an effective campaign disclosure law. They prefer the status quo and the chance to corral a dollar or two from S. Smith and J. Jones for their own campaigns. As McCartney soon will learn, convincing West Virginia delegates and senators to enact election reforms is a tougher task than weaning babies off mother's milk. Let Congress Know Common Cause, the public interest lobby, has legally challenged the constitutionality of the franking privilege extended by Congress to themselves. The lawsuit seeks a declaration that the law allowing the postage-free frank is an unconstitutional, discriminatory use of federal funds to the advantage of incumbent congressmen anxious to retain their offices. The most powerful support of the Common Cause position is a simple line graph showing the volume of congressionally franked mail delivered over a period covering election years and nonelection years. The line of the graph shoots dramatically upward in election years, drops- remarkably immediately after election day. and remains at a relatively low level during nonelection years. It requires no unusual perception to conclude that congressmen use the franking privilege to their election advantage. Even congressmen must recognize the impact of the evidence, because both House and Senate have refused to turn over to the court the congressional records on complaints that the franking privilege has been abused to aid re-election efforts. The national mood, relative to Congress, is surly and contemptuous. The people are tired of supporting this elite club with their labors. We suggest that you let your congressmen know how you feel about the various privileges they have acquired for themselves. Athletes Get Special Recognition With all due respect to the opinion of Marshall University Athletic Director Joe McMullen, it is our opinion that scholarly athletes are more than adequately recognized. McMullen. responding to a writer's request for the names of Marshall athletes who maintained "B" averages, asserted in a covering letter that the classroom exploits of athletes are too often overlooked. Not so. say we. Dean's lists are reported routinely in many newspapers. If athletes make the dean's list, their names are included. In all other reportage of academic achievement, no distinction is made between athlete and nonathlete. Does McMullen mean scholarly athletes should receive special recognition, above and beyond that accorded other good students? Well, as a matter of fact, they get it. Sports page columns are replete with references to athletes who make good grades, the references, usually containing a defensive suggestion that a conspiracy exists to belittle athletes. Good students who don't happen to be athletes never receive this special mention. We suspect that what McMullen means is that athletes aren't necessarily dumb, as they are sometimes portrayed. If this is the case, we stand with him. The complexities of modern sport very nearly rule out the dumb performer. Russell L. Strout Stone and the Tree Once upon a time long ago on a farm in New Hampshire, a grandfather brought a small boy, and Jerry and Jim, the oxen, to build a stone wall. They dragged loads back and forth on the stoneboat but there was one white boulder by a sapling that couldn't be budged. So the grandfather built the wall with other stones from the pasture and left with the small boy, looking back regretfully at the quartz boulder. After they were gone the boulder said to the sapling, "Hello, young thing! You saw them try to dig me out but I was too strong for them. Nobody can budge me." The sapling was no higher than a barberry bush. "Are you a mountain, sir?"-it asked innocently. The stone gave a g r i t t y chuckle. "Compared to you, maybe," he said. "But, if you'll forgive the apothegm, it takes a glacier, not a man, to budget boulders!" After that he didn't say anything for 70 years. tree. "I trust you weren't bruised?" There was a gritty sound like a chuckle. "It's hard to bruise silicon dioxide," he said proudly. "I flatter myself I'm a well- rounded stone, with rough edges smoothed by travel. I rode down from Canada in the Middle Pleistocene and we pushed most of New Hampshire over on to Long Island." "Was it exciting?" asked the tree. "Wonderful days. Something new every century! We traveled sensibly too, about a yard a year. A perfect speed to conserve energy. Then the glacier dropped me off, at B.F. Lang's, R.F.D. 1, South Lee, N.H. only there were woolly mammoths there then. Glaciers ,are slow, but they level hills!" The tree nodded courteously at this apothegm. The man looked around before he left. The quiet almost frightened you at first, and then your ears picked up the other sounds. A chipmunk chattered, pines murmured and some conversational crows flew past. It smelled just the way it did 70 years ago and the .afternoon had that special light; it recalled Jim and Jerry and his grandfather. IN THOSE DAYS everybody farmed along the Mast Road where the cellar holes are now, before they discovered that instead of two-inch top soil in New Hampshire they had 10 feet in Iowa. It was called Mast Road because the King's Broad Arrow was blazed on the tallest trees in the Piscataqua mast trade and it was treason to touch them. The white pines followed the glaciers, the biggest 120 feet and special straight roads were made to bring them down to tidewater at Great Bay, riding eight-foot mast wheels, 30 yoke straining in front and 10 braking be(Please Turn to Page 7E) Jenkin Lloyd Jones Eternal Contemplation (C) 1975, Lot Angeles Times . ABOARD M.S. EUROPA, Mollerhafen. Spitsbergen--Under gray skies and steadily increasing chill we have climbed the Greenland Sea nearly to the top of the world. - Beyond Jan Mayen Land we entered the hourless days when the sun circles above the horizon from late April to late August, and whatever the clock said we would have had no difficulty, even without radar, in recognizing the barrier that would let us go no farther. There it lies, the Polar Cap. stretching east and west to infinity. At its very edge the waves heave the broken ice. and shallow bays and blunt promontories mark its boundary. Beyond is a white prairie, a great circle 1.200 miles across, broken only by wind leads, pressure ridges and the little peaks of trapped blue bergs. TO THRILL the passengers. Capt. Hans Klotzbach gently heads our ice-breaking prow into the mass. Slowly our 21.000 tons of steel divide and tumble the five-foot- thick floes as dull shocks reverberate along the hull. Then caution rules, for beyond there would be danger of entrapment. ; At latitude 80 degrees 25 minutes-575 .nautical miles from the North Pole-we edge south again toward the open water. ·And in a few hours there rise the black,'and-white mountains of Albert I Land, the northwestern part of Norwegian Svalbard. which we call Spitsbergen. In this land of fjords, mountains and gigantic glaciers where the late summer snow line rarely rises above 900 feet dwell polar bear, reindeer and blue and white ·foxes. The bays teem with seal which turn their heads with increasing concern as the ship approaches and suddenly flip their tails and are gone. Ptarmigan, gyrfalcons. gannets. skuas and terns throng the guano rookeries beneath which little patches of stunted vegetation cling to life, and the granitic rock? are covered with a strange black lichen, designed perhaps to gobble sunlight. We come at last to Smeerenburgfjord. The ship's boats are lowered and we are carried off to the littered beach and rusted - -- - - * -r'l.OQO the slow Arctic decay has whitened but not rotted the ancient timbers that once supported floors of cabins. And here is tragedy. For from this sheltered cove in 1897 Prof. S. A. Andree. the Norwegian dreamer and amateur balloonist, set forth in a south wind with two companions and the wild idea of drifting over the Pole. *· FOR ALMOST 40 YEARS, nothing was known of their fate. Then a warm summer on Franz Josef Land peeled back the snow and revealed the bodies and a meticulously kept and still-legible log. A few hundred miles north of Apitsbergen the balloon had wandered in an eddy, lost gas and finally, after the desperate men had jettisoned much valuable gear, it bumped upon the ice. But the long and painful trek to Franz Josef Land was accomplished safely. They had found driftwood, built a shelter and had rifle ammunition to last until the sealers would come in the spring. Then the diary recounted the progress of a mysterious illness that first carried away the professor, then his older companion. Only the student, lovesick for a girl in Bergen, was left to pen his agony to the end. Alas, they had eaten a polar bear infected with the tiny parasite, trichina. Morning (if you can call it morning) finds us in Kongsfjord with its cluster of buildings at Ny Alesund. summer population 25, winter 6. There's the ruined coal wharf and the rusted little locomotive that once shuttled to the now-closed mine, and on the hill there is a gravel airstrip and the radar domes of the vacant boreal research station. A dozen Eskimo dogs, each tethered to his own house, bark excitedly and strain at their chains. Cautious voyagers stand outside the circles snapping photos. But a New Zealand dog-handler at McMurdo base in Antarctica once showed me the technique for making friends with a frantic husky. You slowly approach, hands in pockets, talking, smiling and letting the gnima! understand that you do not bear the sour scent of fear. You drop to your knees so that you no longer tower above tail begins to wag the air is clear and the war is won. So I am smothered with lapping kisses. My coat is ruined with muddy paw prints. And we are all happy. Hard by the settlement a tall steel tripod has waited patiently for just over half a century for the return of the dirigible, Italia. For in May, 1925, to the accompaniment of Mussolini's trumpet fanfares, the flamboyant Fascist, Umberto Nobile. started for the Pole and vanished. It was a miscommanded botch from the beginning and, although Nobile and his crew were eventually rescued, the great Roald Amundsen, circumnavigator of North America and discoverer of the South Pole, was lost when he attempted to reach the wreckage by plane. In Blomstrandfjord. our small boats pick their way among the floating cakes and take us beneath the vertical cliffs of the great glacier. Ice is a plastic. At a given gradient it flows at about one ten-thousandth of the speed of water. You stare up at the tall pillars and at the great crevasses about to give birth to bergs that some day may worry the Coast Guard and cause 100 captains to hover over the wheeling pencils of light on their radar screens. THE WINDS BLEW and snows fell and checkerberries hid under fat leaves. After a while the boy came back and noticed that everything was much the same but changed, too, and now he was a grandfather. There was the stone wall he had helped build with Jim and Jerry. Woodchucks lived under it, chipmunks ran along it, snow had covered it and it looked as thought it would last forever. What he didn't remember, though, was this big tree, right beside the old path. It was, of course, the small sapling that had turned into splendid maple. The roots had gnarled out around its base, for in New Hampshire roots don't go down, they spread out. Hadn't there been a big stone here -- a white stone, that his grandfather couldn't budge. Sure enough, there it was; it must be the same. But a funny thing had happened. A root from the tree had got under the stone like a wrestler's arm, and heaved it up year by year, and now the boulder was almost out of the ground, half-balanced on the mound. "Why, I believe --!" he said. And he took a beanpole that his grandfather, or somebody, had left on the wall long ago and pried under the stone. The big thing hesitated and rocked, and then suddenly lumbered down the incline to the wall where it should have gone before, as easy as that! "I hope you don't mind?" he asked the stone. "Of course I mind," said the stone grumpily, breaking a long silence. "Do you think I like being shoved around -- here today and gone tomorrow? You gave me no warning; you're one of those impetuous people who want to do everything in a minute. Well, anyway: I'm rid of that stupid tree, always elbowing and shoving. And the view of the Pawtucka- way mountains is better here, too, I think. Yes, and there are some respectable stones here that maybe I can scrape up acquaintance with. They look lichened and conservative." The man said to the fine tree, "I hope you don't mind?" "Oh, dear no, not at all, sir," said the tree, just as politely as when it was a sapling. "You have taken a weight off my foot, sir." Letters to the Editor Wouldn't Spit On a Fiery B.'S. IN THE BLUE GROTTOS at sea level you wonder when the snows fell that were compressed into these, the hardest and purest of all ices. In the days of Leif and Eric? In the days of Charlemagne? In the days of Pericles? And at last we come to the end of Mol- lerfjord. The crew has set up bars and a midnight picnic on a sterile headland. There is a man in a polar bear suit to set the children squealing and a scratch German band braying out polkas. But I climb far over the hill away from the music and voices. There is utter silence except the soft mewing of the seabirds. Even if the foolish frantic animal called Man should poison the atmosphere those black-and-white mountains will be almost as they are a million years from now. It is good, occasionally, to contemplate the eternal. There is a tall, bare pinnacle rising above the Cimarron country of New Mexico that the Spaniards called el Dente del Tiempo-the Tooth of Time. * "WHAT I DON'T UNDERSTAND," said the man. "is how you managed it. To lift it, I mean. Where I come from the place is full of stones, lying around in the way everywhere and nobody can shove them." "Why should people shove them?" interrupted the stone indignantly. "Why can't things left alone to adjust gradually? Therefs too much government interference, 'rfiings have a way of working out by themselves if you don't hurry everything." "You rolled quite a way."' said the polite Editor: Dear B. S. (Palausky). What good initials to have because in my opinion that is just what you are. I have read with great interest of what you had to say about the South Charleston Fire Department. Do you know why? I am the wife of one of the 25 men on the department and maybe I should make it clear, not one who tortures cats, but puts his life on the line for people like you who think all they do is sit ... play cards or just show up to collect pay checks. But I know better, I have lived with this fireman for 19 years. I, too, was a child bride. I have seen this man come in from the dead of winter, ice frozen on his hands, face, feet and clothes frozen to his body. I have been in the emergency room when he was brought in with so much smoke in his lungs that oxygen was of little relief. Cuts and burns that have not healed. I have stayed up all night while he was fighting the bad fire at Carbide (to receive a certificate of merit for going in and getting his job done in a building ready to explode). For What? You, B. S., would say it's his job. I will say it is to make sure you up on the hill with your Bicentennial baboom float and your child bride, Shirley, can be safe. I know what you are going to say "what does she want? Maybe fireman of the year award for being a fireman's wife," By the way, my husband was fireman of the year in 1974 both for the ci.ty of South Charleston and the first in the state of West Virginia to receive the award from the American Legion. No. All I want is for you to see both sides of the fence. Just what is it you have against the other men? Have you inside information of every move at the stations or maybe you're stirring up all of this because you don't like the captain in charge. I don't know your reasons but the men involved were brought before city council. Can the other men help it if nothing was' done? No! They say one bad apple can spoil a bunch but you seem to be the rotten one ... Maybe some night you will need these men and B. S., you know what? They will be there to put out your fire, or maybe just to sober you up from too many ba- boom floats or just maybe pound your heart back to beating, if you have one. But me, the fireman's wife. I wouldn't spit on you if you were on fire. But they will be there if you need them. All you have to do is pick up the phone and dial 744-3434. Mrs. Mary Lou Holstine, 708 Oak St. South Charleston Sunday Gazette-Mail Charletlon, if. Va. Page2E Vol. 19 No. 7 Rights Rate Highest Editor: In the Aug. 10 issue of your newspaper in the letters to the editor column. I saw one of the most asinine statements I have ever read. Could it be that D. C. MacDowell does August 17,1975 | not know the history of our countig? Stat- ing that "When individual's rights become more important than national security that nation is doomed." The very Constitution by which we govern ourselves was refused ratification until .the first 10 amendments were added. Do you realize, D. C. MacDowell, what is contained in those 10 amendments? Yes, you guessed it, individual's rights. I suggest you go back over them and look at amendment four, as well as the rest and you will see two things. At no point does the Constitution say these rights are subject to being revoked in the name of national security. In fact it almost stresses that these rights are guaranteed even in time of war or public crisis. No where is any branch of the government given permission to snoop on citizens without first having to show justifiable cause to a federal or state court. Do not cry, D. C. MacDowell, when they come storming through your front door and.accuse you of the most ridiculous charges, all in the name of national security. It is the same reasoning used in Stalin's Russia where thousands were imprisoned for nothing. And if you'll look at India, you'll see what Nixon could have done if our Constitution had been written just a little bit differently. I do not think anything rates higher than individual rights. Society is made of individuals and if the individuals are not protected then society is not protected. That. D. C. MacDowell. is national security. . Steven McCloud, Box 388. Smithers Book Recommended Editor: A couple of weeks ago The Sunday Gazette-Mail listed the new books at the county library. I went to the library for the book. "How To Keep Your Teenagers Out of Trouble," number 364.36-M122h, published by Books for Better Living. 21322 Lassen St.. Chatsworth, Calif. Mr. Fike took exceptions to my approval of L. T. Anderson's comment on how to solve marriage problems. I would like for Mr. Fike and all persons to read this book. It struck me hard to realize that one of the ways to learn is to suffer as this author has done. Another is to profit from the suffering of, others. Teenagers should read this book along with parents, the author suggests. Mr. Fike may comment. "This is hardly a recommendation." Thanks again to the newspapers in broadening my knowledge by offering the list of new books at the Kanawha County Library. All learning is not in school. Life teaches, as well, Mr. Fike. Fred Coleman. 128 Kent St.. City y W

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