Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on June 30, 1974 · Page 17
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June 30, 1974

Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 17

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Charleston, West Virginia
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Sunday, June 30, 1974
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Page 17
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r«, AM* 30.1471 s ECOND RONT HOPEFUL Environmentalists Eye Strip Bill Passage Despite Opposition From Coal Lobbyists By Bob KutUer Taking Rest After helping to paint the flagpole at the National Youth Science Camp in Bartow, Fred Stump of St. Albans, a natural sciences specialist at the camp, relaxes on a truck. Maintenance Supervisor Harold Crist of Arbovale continues to paint the flagpole at the Pocahontas County campsite. The WASHINGTON - Environmentalists, who suffered a major defeat recently when the House killed legislation to regulate land use, are guardedly optimistic that the strip mining control bill coming before the House in July will survive a fierce industry lobbying campaign against it. "The cast is somewhat different this time," says Rep. Morris Udall, D. Ariz.. a leading sponsor of both bills. "Land use turned into a bugaboo about free enterprise, with real constituent pressures. The lobbying on mining is much narrower." *· THE STRIP MINING BILL, as reported by the House Interior Committee May 30, requires coal companies to restore stripped land to its "approximate original contour" and specifies other reclamation standards to be enforced by state agencies. It also provides that some land can be declared unsuitable for strip mining. Industry lobbyists, including the National Coal Assn. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Mining Congress and the National Association of Electric Companies, argue that these and other restrictions could reduce coal production by as much as a third. That view also was expressed in a letter May 29 from Interior Secretary Rogers C. B. Morton to the House Interior Committee, leading some committee members to charge the administration with deserting the strip mining bill for the sake of impeachment politics. Pointing to the administration's eleventh-hour desertion earier this month of the land-use bill, environment subcommittee chairman Udall declared June 11 that President Nixon "has now begun to do the same kind of jig on the strip mining bill." Armed with the Morton letter, industry lobbyists are staging a massive campaign either to sidetrack the measure in the Pott House Rules Committee this week or substitute a less stringent bill sponsored by the interior committee's ranking Republican, Rep. Craig Hosmer of California. » "I'VE BEEN FLYING around the country trying to set fires in people's minds," Says National Coal Assn. President Carl Bagge. "The bill is a goddamn monstrosity." However, tactical divisions are evident on the industry side, and the administration now appears unwilling to repeat the land use fiasco. At a press conference Thursday, Morton said he definitely favors a strip mining bill this year. John Kyi, a former Iowa Republican congressman who serves as Morton's chief congressional liaison, adds. "The administration was embarrassed by the fact that land use was killed. We don't want a repeat of that." According to Rep. Philip E. Ruppe R- Mich.. a key sponsor of the mining bill, "Morton sincerely wants a bill. He's politically sensitive enough to know it's not good politics for the administration to defeat a bill it sponsored." In addition to the more concilatory administration posture, there are other key differences between the land-use defeat and the pending strip mining conflict. In Congress, a number of Western representatives, who viewed the Udall land-use bill as an attack on private property, considers a tough strip mining measure to be necessary defense of the land against mining abuse. Rep. John Melcher, D-Mont., who opposed the land-use bill, supports strip mine control legislation. Melcher accuses the coal and electric utility lobbyists of spreading misinformation about the bill's impact. Power companies in his own district, Melcher says, are much more moderate in their concerns about the bill than their national lobby groups. Rep. Mark Andrews, a Republican whose North Dakota district is just to the east of Melcher's, says, "You've got to do something so all the Western states don't get crudded up to supply the East with power." Like Melcher, Andrews voted against the land-use bill. Other regional concerns are working to the advantage of strip mine controls. Just as many Western congressmen don't want to see their states "crudded up" like much of Appalachia. a number of congressmen from Eastern coal states want tough strip mining West. » ON THE OTHER SIDE, the strongest lobbying appeals against strict controls are coming from the electric utilities. "Unlike the coal companies." says Melcher, "There are power companies in every district. There are more of them. They can talk to every member. And they seem to come across smoother and more effectively than the coal people." The utilities also have mounted a grassroots lobbying effort that is generating constituent mail. One large utility, American Electric Power, is spending $2.7 mil- lion on its coal promotion ad campaign using the slogan, "America has more coal than the Middle East has oil -- Let's dig it!" Some of the industry lobbies, including the Chamber of Commerce and the American Mining Congress, are backing the Hosmer bill which would permit most Western strip mining. Other industry groups, notably the coal companies, find even the Hosmer measure excessive. Bagge insists that the coal, industry wants a bill to promote "reclamation, not prohibition." However, he .acknowledges that, "We haven't endorsed Craig's bill because some of our members don't have the funds to buy the reclamation equipment. They fear it would shut them down." Other legislators sympathetic to the industry say the coal lobby's tactics ultimately may backfire. Speaking at the coal association's annual convention here last week. Sen. Clifford Hansen. R-Wyo. said that the best outcome would be a compromise bill, and urges the industry not to work for its outright defeat. GirVs Aunt Praises Actions of Helpers Interim Committee System Out-of-Hand The legislative interim committee system is clerly out-of-hand, with more between-sessions studies ^being ; voted than possibly can be conducted with hope of results worth the time and expense. 'So far this year the Joint Committee on Government and Finance has been as- By Herb Little- The Associated Press signed nevv or continued studies on 45 subjects. In most cases, the committee is sup; . i. posed to report finding's and recommendations to the 1975 legislature next January. A few more studies are proposed in resolutions still pending in the legislature's The Price Is Wrong Always on Sunday ByB.S.Palausky "You people up on the hill have a nerve. Griping about paving.. .You ought to live down here, the paving on the streets isn't much and there's no paving in the alleys -- where our children are playing. At least up there on the hill, you people have a decent playground. The caller, a man who identified himself, was very-angry. It was the same deep, frustrated type of anger being voiced recently by elderly pensioners who. after scuffling hard for a living all of their lives, find themselves sitting down to eat dog and cat food. He was calling about the column I wrote two weeks ago on the condition of the pavement on Spring-Street in South Charleston. The current pavement was paid for by the property owners with the understanding that the city would take over its maintenance. This pavement, according to my neighbors, has been untouched (except for minor and sketchy patching) in the years since. It is, they say. probably the last of its sort in the world and probably historical because of the neglect. ·\nyhow. I. guess I got carried away. The smell of hot asphalt in such places as Armilda and West Ivydale probably drove me into a frenzy. not want to be a small child in that trap. I APOLOGIZED to the caller for all of that and promised I would go to his neighborhood and take a look at what he was talking about. That evening I did. He lives between MacCorkle Avenue and the Kanawha River near the Adena Indian burial mound in South Charleston. He is right about the paving. He is mostly right about the playgrounds. I did see one little playground (about the size of a lot for a house in that area) with some pieces of equipment on it. Up the street from the playground "a group of children was trying to play some sort of ballgame · in the street. There were cars parked on both sides and every passing vehicle interrupted the game. The playground could accommodate their ballgame. Busy MacCorkle Avenue and industrial plants effectively cut off access by the smaller children to South Charleston's other recreational facilities. At any rate, if I had children under 10 years old. I would not allow them to cross that highway unsupervised. I would also do everything I could to keep them away from the river area. Naturally, that would put them in a sort of a trap. After looking at the entire area, industrial plants and all. I would THE NEXT DAY, Bob Anderson, South Charleston's recreation director, called to assure me that there is no hanky-panky going on with the city's recreation money.. He is going to send me a copy of his financial report. He.says there are two playgrounds in the area mentioned above. We have a problem. He said that when he started on the job years ago. the recreation department was taking in only $200 a year. Now. he says, it is something Ifte $20,"000 a year. (I think that's his figure.) And, that's our problem. I don't think the recreation department's job is to make money. I do realize that the money is being put back into the ' various programs to enhance them and expand them. My main point is that the first time a fee is charged for the use of a public-owned and public-financed recreation facility, you begin practicing discrimination -- the mean and petty discrimination of the pocketDook. One of this area's last major confrontations over racial discrimination took place over at Rock Lake swimming pool -- right OUTSIDE the city limits of South Charleston. Having lost the battle on all other counts, the pool operators finally went the pocketbook route -- raising prices with what I believe was the hope that the unwanted would find swimming too expensive. special session. Because the legislature has had two spe- .icJal.sessions,since the regular session ended in : March; .most of this year'sjinterim 'StudiesVhave: barely begun and some haven't started. Ordinarily the joint committee and its subcommittees meet monthly for three successive days. This weekend's scheduled round of meetings was canceled, however, because of the special session. Unless there is doubling up on scheduling, only five rounds of meetings remain for this year's studies^ Scheduling of more .meetings isn't likely to be popular because of. the extra time legislators already have spent in Charleston for special sessions. Some interim studies originated because it was-felt the subjects really required lengthy consideration free from the pressure and confusion of legislative sessions. Others are on the agenda simply because referring a subject to an interim committee is an easy way to get rid of a hot potato for a while. Whenever a resolution for an interim study emerges after a bill ^has.been the subject of lengthy controversy in the legislature, it's a good bet the bill is.dead or dying as far as that session isvtpheerhed. A case in point is the bill fjr financial aid to local governments, which seems to be going down the drain for the third time this year. Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee reported to the floor a resolution calling for an interim study of the subject. mac Telephone Co. rate increase, the Public Service Commission ruled against the company on the charitable contributions J IN ITS decision last week disallowing over one-third of a Chesapeake and Poto- Statehome Note Book LITTLE Today. South Charleston is operating the pool. I don't think the prices have been lowered... »· THE MAN WHO CALLED has a right to be upset. Like the rest of us, he's got a lot of hands going through his pockets fishing out all sorts of tax money. Along about payday, he probably feels like he's had a session at one of the more vigorous massage parlors. But he can still get away from it all by: Faying $X for a shelter and having a picnic at Little Creek Park. Paying $X and seeing South Charleston's wrestling show. Paying $X and hearing country music at the park or recreation building. Paying $X and swimming at Rock Lake. For free, he can step outside his house and watch the children play their ball- game -- in the traffic. St. Albans Y Plans Swimming Course The second session of the St. Albans YMCA progressive swim program will begin at 10 a.m. July 8. Classes will be Monday through Thursday for two weeks. The program will be at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Fisher. Students will be given directions to the home when they enroll at the YMCA. 222 6th Ave., St Albans. Consistent with past decisions, the PSC refused to approve $81.000 inCPcontribu- tions to chanties as an operating expense which may be recovered in billings to customers. The money involved was a pittance in the context of the multimillion-dollar rate, case, but the issue is one people get mad about. Said the PSC: "We agree that it is good business for a utility to share in the needs of the communities which it serves, but to do so and call it charity, it must be done by the stockholders." *·· DEL CHARLES D, Hylton III, young Hinton newspaper executive now in the House by appointment, is a prospect to fill the Republican ballot vacancy for the State Senate in the 10th Senatorial district. Whoever is nominated by the district GOP executive committee will run in November against Sen. J, C. Dillon of Hinton, state Democratic chairman. The district includes Mercer, Monroe and Summers counties ·;..'.'·. ;. , · : "Encrpachment by the .legislature's spe^ cial sessions on private businesses and careers of members is beginning to take a toll. Oh the same day that Minority Leader Chester R. Hubbard resigned from the Senate to get back to his Wheeling Law practice, Del. James M. McCutcheon, a Parkersburg businessman, announced his withdrawal as a Republican nominee for another House term from Wood County The House last week presented certificates commending their long service to two veteran members who are lame ducks as the result of primary election defeats. The recognition went to Majority Leader Thomas E. Myles, D-Fayette, and Finance Committee Chairman Harry R. Pauley, D-McDowell, a former House speaker. Pauley is serving his 12th House term and Myles is completing his ninth. Myles' 10 years as majority leader (in three separated stints) are a record for the post . . . A State Health Department official told the House Judiciary Committee last week: "in the state of West Virginia we still have about 100,000 privies." . . . Attention Pulitzer Prize committee: This column has uncovered the coverup of the full name of the State Senate president - William Thurlow Weed Brotherton Jr. Just so you won't spend your Sunday- worrying about it: the purpose of Secretary of State "Hike" HeiskelKs visit to Russia is not to study Soviet election laws. State Planning Council to Meet The Statewide Planning Council, an organization for development of a comprehensive proposal for a statewide consumer education program, will meet 10 a.m. July 11 in Wallace Hall at West Virginia. State College. The council includes representatives from 14 state colleges, members of the West Virginia Board of Regents Advisory Council on Federal Resources, and {personnel from the State Department of Education, attorney general's office, West Virginia Commission on Aging and the West Virginia Broadcasting Authority. The aunt of a child who was frightened earlier this week by a young dog said Saturday she objected to criticism leveled at the two persons responsible for getting her niece safely home. Ruth Hanshaw of Arlington Court said she is grateful that the man and woman took the time to calm the child and get it away from the puppy. Jane Barrows, a Charleston Newspapers employe, was walking home Thursday and noticed the little girl, 9-year-old Diane Coleman, crying. "She was terrified of a puppy who was jumping on her and nipping at her. 1.be- lieve the dbg was overly playful and really wasn't; malicious. Nevertheless, it was -nipping at the child and she was hysteri : . cal." .- . · . ' ;. ·'',.'. ; .,-; . . -.·/·· · Because of a recent arm fracture; Mrsi Barrows wasn't able to help the child, so she flagged down a passing motorist. John Curatolo of Woodrum's stopped his car and lifted the child away from the dog. then carried the little girl home. *· FRIDAY a neighbor of the child's aunt telephoned the Gazette to criticize Friday morning's account of the incideribon grounds that she believed the child "released the dog herself and the dog',-Was only eight weeks old. The caller. Pat Garza,.claimed the child wasn't in danger. Mrs. Garza said she was calling with/the knowledge of Mrs. Hanshaw. " 1 . Mrs. Hanshaw said Saturday she had no knowledge of the call and regretted-' any embarrassment Mrs: Garza may have caused the two who helped the child'.;r "I'm very glad the gentleman brought Diane home. I took her to .the hospitaler a tetanus shot and I am trying to locatejthe puppy 3 to see if it can be watched for3ra- bies. I don't see what the size of thevtiog has to do with anything. A puppy can have rabies just as easily as an adult dog; 4 It Was This High This was among the debris left by water which flooded the Salvation Army's Camp Happy Valley in Teays Valley Friday evening. Salvation Army Brig. Warren Fulton (above) said approximately 70 campers were watching a movie in a multipurpose center at the camp when heavy rains began at 4 p.m. Fulton said the tennis couns were under four to five feet of water. However, by approximately 9 p.m., the water had cleared and the campers were able to return to their cabins. ffhoto by Jack Kern)

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