The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California on December 7, 1976 · 30
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The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California · 30

San Francisco, California
Issue Date:
Tuesday, December 7, 1976
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page 30 S.F. EXAMINER Tues., Dec. 7, 1976" Opinion -nn!ranctero 3Lamincr TRB from Washington Big tune-up job at 135 Van Ness IT IS OUR idea that William Matson Roth should write a textbook on how citizens can be mobilized for public service, using the Riles commission of which he is chairman as the model. The commission was put together on the initiative of State School Superintendent Wilson Riles after he could' no longer endure the professional embarrassment of the declining San Francisco schools. Now the commission, having spent nearly two years at the job, is about to close shop, having seen many of its recommendations implemented and others in the process. The hard-working members and the executives loaned by San Francisco business were able (somewhat contrary to our own gloomy forebodings) to tune up the clanking machinery at 135 Van Ness. While the future does not promise to be one long joyride, the road looks much, much smoother. Riles told the commission, "You haven't waited around to make just one report to sit on a shelf somewhere. (Your work) demonstrates that ' school districts may call on the resources of the community and the community is likely to respond. I believe the parents of our youth will thank you." We believe that, too. Superintendent Robert Alioto said, "Because of the committee I really believe, the San Francisco schools are better today than they were a year ago and that they will be better tomorrow." Without belittling the problems that remain, we think the superintendent is right. It's a warm feeling to turn the corner. Roth has the makings of a best-selling "how to" book if he ever gets around to writing it. ' S.F.'s India Basin: Reversing a trend A LITTLE-NOTICED ceremony came off at the foot of Hunters Point the other day. It took place on the beautifully landscaped site of the city's new industrial park, India Basin, and the honorees were three: , The MeCormick-Morgan Co. and the' Morgan Equipment Co., both of which have elected to reverse a nation-w ide trend of industry to spread out from urban to suburban areas! They decided, to remain in San Francisco and are establishing facilities at India Basin. A third site has been sold to a Trammell Crow enterprise which plans a $2 million industrial building. The San Francisco Redevelopment Agency has had its ups (Golden Gateway) and its downs (Yerba Buena). India Basin well may be chalked up on the positive side with the attraction of job-creating industries there. The Postal Service is negotiating for almost half the park for a huge distribution and maintenance center. While an installation like that won't do anything for the tax rolls, it will provide thousands of jobs and that's the name of the game these days. The installation would replace Rincon Annex which occupies valuable downtown real estate; that land, returned to the tax roU would provide a bonus. . It often falls to our lot to comment here on some of the more disagreeable aspects of life. We find it a welcome contrast to note the progress at India Basin. i Kudos for Carter A N extraordinary aspect of President-elect "Carter's nomination of Cyrus R. Vance to be his secretary of state has been the widespread approval at home and abroad. Our own enthusiastic reaction to the selection of this skilled, low-keyed, veteran lawyer-diplomat as successor to Henry Kissinger is unqualified, as summed up in the conclusion to his Sunday Editor's Report by William Randolph Hearst Jr. , What is so unusual is that scarcely a word of criticism or doubt has come to our attention. This is truly extraordinary. It seems the President-elect could not have made a better . choice for number one member of his cabinet. We sincerely wish that throughout his tenure in the White House all of Jimmy Carter's acts are as acceptable to the majority of his fellow Americans. John Roche ..f ML Ml III nil in Hi J " -, nnl Action, in the affirmative In moments of self-pity I sometimes feel I have spent more of my life than necessary in no man's land after a while you get tired of being shot at from both sides. However, as one of the early advocates of "affirmative action," it seems vital to me that the topic be reclaimed from the logicians and bureaucrats who currently have it in custody. On one hand, some of my liberal friends are screaming as though pure merit was as American as apple pie. On the other, various ideo logues and government agencies have converted "affirmative action" into a quota system favoring women and minorities irrespective of merit, a position that in my judgment is both wrong and constitutionally untenable. For starters, let's get a hard definition of "affirmative action" on the table. It is, or was in the minds of its early advocates, a program designed to give people of equal talent an equal chance. In concrete terjns, I could never have gone to graduate school and received a doctorate without the post-World War II version: The G.I. Bill. Similarly, in the early years of this century, public school systems ran special night classes for immigrants to help them achieve the English literacy required for citizenship. But what was distinctive about these efforts was precisely their design: The G.I. Bill paid Cornell my tuition and gave me a- monthly stipend it did not require my professors to pass me or award a Ph.D. I was there on subsidy, but on my own. Similarly the citizenship education classes, so humorously portrayed by Leo Rosten in his adventures of "H-Y-M-A-N K-A-P-L-A-N" did not award a certificate of naturalization. When, belatedly, minority rights became a major national issue in the early 1960s, it occurred to me and a number of other workers in the academic vineyard that colleges and universities should establish "pre-flight" train ing for the educationally disadvan-, taged (black, white or green). Indeed, when I was dean of faculty, Brandeis University suc cessfully obtained a foundation grant to institute a program on this model. We sought what might be called bright "unlettered" students. The selected students met with sympathetic advisers, and took some regular courses. They were not guaranteed admission to Bran-delis or any other school: pur role was to get them to the threshold and help them in the college admissions process. This was meaningful "affirmative action." It was not patronizing; it was solid and, perhaps most important, it was not based on middle-class guilt. None of the faculty had inherited railroads or plantations, and the students were treated as individuals. Not as offerings on an altar of historic oppression. Then, somewhere in the late 1960s, came the great transformation. To put it in a sentence, the right to an even opportunity was converted into the right to results. Colleges and graduate schools began two-track admissions with white males assessed on one level and minorities on a lower one. It is this policy at the University of California that has been declared unconstitutional as reverse racism by the California courts and is .. pending appeal to-the U.S. Supreme Court. William F Buckley A word of praise for Chile Three weeks ago, the General Assembly of the United Nations ground out a routine denunciation of Chile, listing eight human rights denied there to Chilean citizens. The rebuke was sponsored by several dozen nations, including such exemplary guadians of civil liberty as Algeria, Cuba, East Germany, Mongolia, Mozambique, Yugoslavia, and Mali. But the hypocrisy of the United Nations is no more remarkable than birthmark. It did happen, though, that within a week the Chilean junta issued a remarkable and highly welcomed proclamation. Chile announced that it would release all its "detainees" except for 18, who would be released only under specified conditions. Although it is impossible to arrive at exact figures, it would appear that there are about 1,000 Chileans in jail for crimes or alleged crimes that can be construed f as political. , Now the junta said 608 of its political prisoners have been tried, found guilty, and are serving terms for concrete criminal acts, never mind if the governing passions were political. Of the balance, half are under indictment, scheduled for trial. The other half are the so-called "detainees." It is these that Chile has released, and should be applauded for doing so. Unhappily, there is a greater appetite to find something in Chile to criticize (and there is plenty), than to applaud, even signs of the liberalization of Chilean life. Now concering the 18 remaining detainees, Pinochet has come up with a remarkable ploy. He will trade the liberty of his Communists for the liberty of individual "detainees" in the Soviet Union and Cuba, and right away he listed two: Luis Corvalan, the Al Capone of the Chilean Communist set; Vladimir Bukovsky, a dissident intellectual whose victimization the Skharov Committee in Copenhagen has been deploring for a long time. And for Jorge Montes, another high-ranking Communist, Pinochet desires the liberation of Huberto Matos, who has been 15 years in jail in Cuba, having been sentenced by Havana's John Sirica. Now the idea of the hostage is not appealing, viewed in the abstract. A man's liberty ought not to depend on the disposition of third parties. But both Corvalan and Montes, inasmuch as they are Communists in good standing, were involved in crimes against the liberty of the Chilean people, and no doubt could be brought to trial and sentenced to life terms in prison. By contrast, Bukovsky and Matos fought, non-violently, for human freedom. Who else than Pinochet is putting pressure on the Cubans and the Soviet Union to perform humane acts? Why don't our diplomats in the United Nations take up the Chilean proposal and run with it? Surely it is a natural for Amnesty International, which on the whole is impartially concerned to relieve prisoners of conscience? Pinochet has come up with a remarkable idea, and outgrowth of a proposal first made in 1974, but largely ignored. Perhaps Mr. Kissinger can be persuaded to endorse the proposal before leaving office. 5 Echeverria lights a fuse You always find out things about home when you travel abroad. A lot of officials from Washington came down to see the inaugural ceremony for Jose Lopez Portillo, replacing Luis Echeverria, (for a single six-year term) and to enjoy watching the Mexican transition period come to an end. Then TRB from Washington is written by Richard Strout, Christian Science Monitor correspondent, and is published by New Republic Magazine they returned to their own interminable transition period here. It is one of the most dangerous intervals in our government and ought to be shortened or abolished. In Mexico City, lame duck Echeverria suddenly ordered the expropriation of 220,000 fertile acres in the Yaqui Valley for the landless peasants who have been promised the land for 40 years. It sent a convulsion through the already jittery country and then Echeverria calmly left to his hand-, picked successor the job of calming the storm. It was a wonderful example of what a lame duck can do if he wants to, and made some ' Inaugural visitors from Washington ponder. Who is making policy now at home, Jimmy or Jerry? In the midst of one of the greatest global Inflations in history, where every trading nation is looking to the United States for guidance, who actually is running things? Fortunately President Ford isn't expropriating lands, and it is all cooperative and gentlemanly. As I went to my sightseeing bus in Mexico City, a woman with a nursing baby and two other tots sat on the street near the fashionable hotel, stretching out her hand for alms. The guide on the bus pooh-poohed it. Tourists shouldn't be deceived, he explained. Poverty in Mexico is exaggerated. Our guide got a big laugh, too, when he said, yes, Mexico has universal compulsory education but it isn't enforced; not enough schools. One reason for the school shortage is the astonishing birthrate. It is one of the highest in the world. It is curious that neither Time or Newsweek in their accounts of the Mexican land expropriation turmoil, and the devaluation of the peso, mentioned this underlying fact: Mexico's population is running out of space and resources. Population has jumped to 60 million and at the present rate is doubling every 20 years. Yes, by A.D. 2000, according to current demographic projections, there should be 132,000,000 Mexicans jammed below the border. Almost certainly, this won't happen; something will give first. Maybe they will enter the United States. The ghost of Malthus is watching with interest. . Population growth in the United States has dropped to 0.9 per cent; the world rate is around 1.9 per cent; but in Mexico, a land . whose area gives an exaggerated notion of its arable acreage, and where the distribution of wealth is desperately unequal the growth rate is an amazing 3.2 per cent. The population is young, too; the median age in the United States is 29 years (and getting older), that in Mexico is about 17. The fertility drive will be there for a long time. The poor are prolific. To sustain an American is a per capita gross nntinnul nrnrtnpt nf !R5 5Qft fnr a : . . . . . u1 t . ( . , pauper, of course, it has had a remarkable, record of growth and stability though in 1968 the army machinegunned a political protest movement, killing 300. It has growing agricultural industry, and a flood of oil. It also has a staggering outside debt of $20 billion and an undercurrent of social unrest,. These landless peasants with seven or eight children look hungrily at the big estates in a land where the law theoretically forbids ownership of more than 250 acres each. The problem hits the United States, of course, at the border. Parts of this country are now Spanish-speaking. The Census Bureau reports it is by far the most common second language; Chicago, has a quarter million Latinos, New Jersey more Hispanics than Arizona. Hispanic-Americans have a fertility rate twice that of other citizens. Will the United States, like Canada, ultimately become bilingual? The Pentagon spends a $100' billion or more a year to defend the; country against invasion, but the government can afford only 1,700 men to protect the Mexican border.; Immigration Commissioner Leonard Chapman told a Washington audience the other day that there are 6 to 10 million illegal immi" grants in the country (two-thirds Mexican) and that he thinks he is! catching about one out of three o four trying to enter. - Before it recessed, Congress passed over Mr. Ford's veto, a $3.5' billion bill designed to generate' 300,000 new jobs. Perhaps half thafr number of immigrants enter the country illegally each year looking for work. There will be a drive in th new Congress to pass a bill prohibiting employment of illegal aliens and to penalize employers who hire them. Last summer, in Texas, Jimmy Carter said he would support such a law. It is, of course, backed by the trade unions. Congress may act. And meanwhile that extraordinary 3.5 per cent population growth rate will continue in Mexico. fulfil -dS ' TA 7 ' v:y i- ..m&v jfa "Fine football, great cause, low price . . . and no Howard Cosell" Editor's mail box Brown's cut costs A letter from Chris Burns in Wednesday's paper referred, quite correctly, to underpayment of hospital outpatient services by Medical. However, he doesn't mention the underlying reason, that being the "lowered expectation" policies of our governor. It may be fine to lower expectations and not create additional government programs so that taxes won't increase, but I think it's immoral to stop paying for services provided for by existing programs, when the providers have no choice but to continue in the program. If the state really wants to lower expectations in this regard, then it should announce to the public that services are being cut. Who is the loser in this game? All citizens lose because this frugal policy is forcing down the quality of medical care. Also, homeowners in cities and counties are paying more in their property tax rate than' otherwise would be necessary to cover these unpaid Medi-Cal costs. In essence a state repsponsibility is being shifted to local taxpayers to subsidize district hospitals like San Francisco General. , I think its time for the newspapers and the people to start making Gov.. Brown more selective in his cost-cutting. After all, anyone can cut costs. Father can announce to the family that meals will be served on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and alternate Sundays. Costs will be cut, but I'm not convinced that the family wants to live that way. Kenneth Deehan . budget director St. Luke's Hospital San Francisco High crime area As a resident for 23 years of one of the first streets out of the portals of St. Francis Wood, I have driven on St. Francis Blvd. for that number of years to most conveniently reach my home from the Stonestown shopping area. I carefully respected the barricade to St. Francis Boulevard until the other evening. I was in a hurry, and as any resident of the area knows, it is possible to drive onto the boulevard without crossing the barrier. At 4:45 p.m. I was stopped by one of two S.F. motorcycle officers patrolling the area. I was asked why I ignored the barrier, and why I was driving on that particular street. , After explaining where I lived . and how I arrived on the street without battering the barricade to bits, I was sent upon my way by the very courteous and understanding policeman. , ( Today's quote "A total of 769,000 high 6chool graduates (in Japan) are competing for college this year. Some 89,000 took the entrance examination at Ritsumeikan University In western Japan, one of the few that did not raise tuition. This was an increase of 50 per cent over the previous year. Keio University in Tokyo also reported a 40 per cent jump In applications, while Waseda University, also in Tokyo, reported a 20 per cent increase. Only one of five applicants was accepted." Yuichi Nakajima in Atlas World Press Review" Naturally, I was embarrassed; to have been stopped for such an-infraction. However, I was seething" with anger at Mayor Moscone and. the Board of Supervisors who promised the citizens of San Francisco additional police protection in the high crime areas. I know why the barrier was placed at the entrance to St. Francis Wood, but I can't see any connection between that and solv-; ing the crime problems in San, Francisco's high crime areas. Assigning S.F. motorcycle offi-; cers traffic detail in St. Francis-Wood rather than assigning them to high crime areas as a deterrent to crime is indeed a banal approach, to the problem facing the citizens of San Francisco. Such folly! Mrs. Ursula Farrell San Francisco Househunting Ford The other day we visited friends in Sacramento and they talked about that new Governor's Mansion, still standing empty near" the American River because Jerry Brown won't live there. There have been all kinds of suggestions about what do with it. Our friends have an idea, too. President Ford is not an oddball recluse like our young bachelor governor. The Fords are looking for a new home. . The President will get a fat pension. Let's make him a deal he can't refuse. Alfred Cans Daly City

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