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Daily Times Herald Washington Notebook r.MMnvMTJt A r n t^ KD1TORIALS Dear Abby Monday, April 15, 1974 Doctor Ratio There is a curious sameness about periodic reports on the nation's "doctor shortage." Generally the theme of such reports is that there is not in truth a shortage at all. It is not the ratio of doctors to population that is the problem, we are told; rather, it is that the profession is over-specialized and doctors tend to congregate in larger communities. This, again, is the basic import of an article on the subject in the Journal of the American Medical Association. We are informed that the total number of doctors has more than kept pace with rising population - that whereas the ratio was 119 per 100,000 in 1950, by 1971 it had risen to 152 per 100,000. This does not mean, however, that everyone is receiving adequate care: there are too few general practitioners, relatively too many specialists, and geographic distribution is uneven. The AMA Journal report by two Rand Corporation researchers also looks to the future, predicting that a Labor Department estimate of 413,000 to 436,000 physicians needed by 1980 will be exceeded. The forecast, taking into account increased medical school enrollment and a continuing influx of foreign doctors, is that by that date the United States will have more than the top figure. Though this projection is heartening, it does not wholly relieve anxiety about the adequacy of medical care in the future. It appears virtually certain that before 1980 there will be some form of nationwide government health insurance. That is bound to increase demand for doctors' services, though to what extent is problematical. There also remain the over- speciali/.ation and maldistribution problems. The need for more effective programs to increase the proportionate number of general practitioners, and to get more doctors practicing in rural areas and small communities, continues to be urgent. Safety Factor The Consumer Product Safety Commission's new rules calling for refunds on products banned as hazardous will bring two notably beneficial results. The consumer will henceforth have 1 more prompt and effective recourse in dealing with the sellers of such products. The manufacturers, doubtless with some nudging from wholesalers and retailers, seem sure to give increased weight than in the past to consumer safety considerations. This outgrowth of federal legislation enacted in 1970 has been a long time coming. Four years have passed- in disputations talk among public interest groups, wholesalers and retailers. But now at last we have (as of March 6) a system whereby consumers will be informed when a toy or other product has been banned by the Commission, and will then have opportunity to get their money back if they have bought the product. In the first instance, manufacturers must notify wholesalers and retailers when a product has been banned. Notice of this,, plus information on refund procedures, must then be posted throughout stores where the item has been offered for sale. The system sounds like a workable means of implementing the purpose of the Toy Safety and Child Protection Act. Indemnity The federal order requiring Mississippi poultrymen to destroy millions of chickens tainted with, the pesticide dieldrin raises a hard question. In essence the question is: Under what circumstances should food producers be paid indemnities for destroying products which do not meet health standards? The poultrymen were told that under present law they could not be compensated for their loss. A move is afoot to get. Congress to authorize some payment. Would that be justifiable? We say yes if it can be shown that the tainting'Occurred in spite of reasonable" precautions to avert it. This is the key element of concern; indemnity payments for producers violating health standards out of carelessness would be bad public policy. There should be precise rules as to when such payments are warranted, and when not. Such rules, fairly enforced, might bring order out of the confusion in such situations as that in Mississippi. Timely Quotes — "I am convinced that history will judge the House by what it. does, not oy what the President and fiis spokesmen say." —Speaker of the House Carl Albert, (D-Okla.), rejecting a suggestion that the House Judiciary Committee seek equal broadcast time to answer White House criticisms of its impeachment inquiry. Hospitality Custom Benefits of Controversial Books Biossat TOKYO (NBA) — Well, I went to visit the Yamada family here in a district not far from the city's celebrated, glittering Ginza, and it was some kind of time. Tokyo has a "home visit system" under which families volunteer for visits like mine, in the interest of "better international understanding." I was primed with questions about, the family's living costs under galloping inflation, fuel and other shortages, their taxes, etc. I get them asked, but the real thing was that the evening quickly dissolved into such a small festival of fun that when we parted, we felt like old friends. My hostess, Mrs. Etsuyo Yamada, her son Masami, and a young girl who is a family friend, drove me in their station wagon to their home in the Taito-ku district. It wa°- on a commercial street, witn entry througn a slender sliding door oane'JL One look and you could see that the house and a small shop (it turned out to be a specialized sort of drug store) merged as one. We doffed our shoes in Japanese custom, and sat down around a brightly lit dining table, nibbling at seaweed-covered rice cakes and quaffing a bit of beer. (Rice prices are controlled, but food costs generally are up at the little stores where the family stocks its larder). The Yamada family and its prior generations have lived at the same site for 120 years. An earlier house burned to the ground in the 1923 earthquake. I suspect it happened again in the massive March, 1945, firebombing by United States' B-29s, but the family was too gracious to mention that. The present house is of wood And wallboard, cramped and small, warmed by an electric heater. Tight quarters but somehow comfortable. The father, Seibei Yamada, a longtime pharmacist, was described as "retired" and was not present. Mrs. Yamada, a beautiful woman of 66, has many interest. She is general president of a cluster of 50 clubs doing social welfare and education work in the Taito-ku district, where 220,000 people live. She also runs a small plant in Kyoto which makes things from richly-colored, gold-threaded brocade. She ^ave me a lady's tiny -By Bruce Biossat coin purse as a gift. Masami told me on the way out, in his excellent English, that he was the family black sheep, since his older brother is now the pharmacist and his divorced sister runs the drug shop. She is licensed to practice Chinese medicine, which seems to involve things like herbs and chlorophyll, and demands of "patients" that they follow rigid health rules. Business comes by work of mouth and evidently is brisk. With house and shop, the family pavs $500 a year in real estate taxes. The fun began when I asked Masami how old he was. The young family friend, Akiko Honjo, an architecture student at Tokyo university, laughed hard. The joke was he is older than he looks and doesn't like to admit it. He finally confessed to 36. When I said I hadn't married until I was 37, he gave a happy shout, and grasped my hand firmly as if two strayed souls had made bond. But Masami is not all that lost. He is accredited from Tokyo university's graduate school of arts, paints at a seaside studio south of Tokyo, has two big plant-and-flower murals on the family walls, designed a wrapping for his mother's boxed products, runs a ski club in Japan's mountains west and north of Tokyo and once appeared in a television film in Europe while joining in a long, high-Alpine ski run from France to Switzerland. He's the one who can talk fuel shortage, with his runs to his studio and to a small family farm to the west near the Japan Sea. He sketches there a lot. Masami says gasoline prices are higher today in a ratio of 8 to 5 over September, and in the first panic of December-January he was limited in the amounts he could buy. Expansive, smiling, he suddenly broke out a small guitar and began singing familiar, if old, American popular songs like "Springtime in the Rockies" and "Red River Valley." I joined in, and so did Akiko, who lived a while in Detroit. And, oh yes, Kuniko, daughter of Masami's sister. Just 7, she showed me her arithmetic book stamped with five red circles for excellence. An example of her work in shodo (brush- writing) is on exhibit at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. Inflation and the family? Sure, sure, tough. But what I remember is Kuniko running alonside the car, smiling and waving, as I left. Polly's Pointers Cleaning is Problem — By Polly Cramer DEAR POLLY — My Pet Peeve concerns pants suits, regular suits and jumpers that come with blouses that never seem to be a perfect fit. Usually they are too small. Why not have the matching blouse available, separately, so one could purchase the proper size. D.L.D. DEAR POLLY — Connie will find that POLLY cleaning old brass (even when pitted or covered with paint) becomes simple, quick and inexpensive if she uses ammonia and .0000 steel wool. Sudsy ammonia will work and so will a soapy steel wool pad if that is all she has -on hand. For the worst jobs strong ammonia (bought at the drug store) is even faster than household ammonia. I have never damaged any brass with these materials BUT the human lungs and stomach could be. Ammonia is POISON and should be used with all the doors and windows open. If Connie's husband is handy it would be best for him to take the chandelier down and work on it outdoors. Otherwise this job should be done in spurts and stoos and starts and dashes to an open window or door tor Tfesh air. Rubber gloves help, too. BUNELLE DEAR GIRLS — Several readers wrote that they used ammonia for this job. I tried it on both a brass-plated item and solid brass one. I was not happy with the results on the brass plate so do test a corner first. The old black tarnish poured off the solid brass sconce and it came clean but looked dull. I like a sheen on brass so followed the above treatment with a quick gO~ing_ over witn a powdered brass cleaner and the glow returned. Befpre working on a lighting fixture (if it has to remain hanging) "be sure to turn the current off at the fuse box. Also cover anything unuer tne fixture completely. Removing it will certainly save the arms. Be sure all old lacquer is off before starting to clean. Denatured alcohol (poison) or lacquer thinner should remove it. After fixture is shining and dry apply denatured alcohol again, let dry and then apply a transparent metal lacquer with a brush or spray it on. Be sure not to get fingerprints on the fixture after the alcohol application or the lacquer will •not stick. This will prevent a big cleaning job in the future but when the lacquer eventually dulls remove it and apply a fresh coat. This is going'to" be work any way you do it and, of course, the easiest and safest way would be to take the fixture to a metal refinisher. POLLY POLLY'S PROBLEM DEAR POLLY — Will someone please tell me how to clean a crushed marble statue? I was told that washing would cause it to crumble. Is this true? After cleaning can some sort of protective glaze be put on it so dust and dirt will not collect so badly? If so, what is the procedure? MRS. J.M.D. DEAR POLLY — There are no shelves in my basement laundry area. Often a box of soap, sitting on the floor, is ruined by water. I now pour my soap into a no-longer used diaper bucket with a lid so even splashed water does not get into the soap arid harden it. PAT DEAR POLLY — My old console radio had two doors. I took the back off, installed an automobile front door switch behind the edge of the left door, put a light socket from an old refrigerator in the upper left hand corner (uses a 15 watt bulb). When the door is opened the light comes on. At first the inside was all painted with white enamel but later I had an old dresser mirror cut to fit against the back which is quite an addition. Eight small metal angles were used to support two %-inch glass shelves — one for smaller glasses and one for larger ones and bottles, etc., go on the bottom. Just before the shelves were installed I painted the inside with a clear high ,gloss plastic that will not stain. Double strength window glass was put on top of the cabinet to add to the usefulness of my bar. If preferred this could be used as a china cabinet. DELROY DEAR POLLY - Three years ago my husband removed the parts from a television console, added shelves and drawers inside and our young son has bureau just the right height for him to get his clothes out. JANET Abby DEAR ABBY: As a teacher of llth grade English, may I respond to the irate parent who objected to the "trashy" books his child was required to read in school? That letter could have been directed at me personally because I have recommended such widely accepted literary classics as "The Grapes of Wrath," "Brave New World," and the ever-controversial "Catcher In The Rye." First of all, I respect the wishes of any parent who does not want his child to read certain books, and if the parent has the courage to let me know directly (and not through an anonymous phone call to my principal), I will gladly suggest some alternatives. Second, I, like you, Abby, am also "turned off" by certain vulgar four- letter words, mainly because of my own straight-laced upbringing. However, I suggest that no one can judge a book by selecting isolated passages from it. For instance, both "Grapes of Wrath" and "Catcher In The Rye" deal with the importance of feeling a sense of concern and responsibility for one's fellowman. I realize the this letter is probably much too long for your column, but I feel so strongly about the value of presenting modern, readable and Your Personal relevant books to our teenagers that I wish to air my views. As a teen-ager I never was nearly as excited about books as I am today, and I attribute my lack of enthusiasm to the dull, "safe," uncontroversial books which were the typical fare for high school English classes back in the '50s. I want more than anything else to create in my students a genuine desire to read, and that can be accomplished only be exposing them to thought- provoking books that speak directly to them in modern language which, unfortunately, often includes a few words whirh hannen to be offensive to me. A.TEACHER (I HOPE) DEAR TEACHER: Well put. Thanks By Abigail Van Burem for writing. DEAR ABBY: What do you say to a mother-in-law who insists on naming our unborn SON? (If it's a daughter — no problem.) Doesn't she know that the baby's name should be chosen by the baby's mother and father? This is our first child and we are hoping for a boy, but this situation is making me secretly want a girl! Hurry your answer. I hope it gets here before the baby does. MOM-IN-WAITING DEAR MOM: No one can name your baby without your consent. When the baby arrives, don't "say" anything, do your own naming, and don't apologize. Your Health How Smoking Hurts " — By Lawrence E. Lamb, M.D. DEAR DR. LAMB — Sometime ago I read your column about the man who had his legs amputated because he would not quit smoking. Would you please clearly explain why smoking caused this problem requiring leg amputation? My husband smokes from one to two packs a day. He is bothered by leg cramps. Some time ago his angles swel- Lamb Complain About Lawyer Carlton Smith By Smith What do you do when you've retained a lawyer to handle some problem, and you feel he's overcharging you, or isn't handling the matter properly? "Complain like hell," is the advise of Pennsylvania's Insurance Commissioner, Herbert S. Denenberg — a lawyer himself, incidentally — who has published a "Shopper's Guide to Lawyers" to' Help the citizens of his state avoid getting overcharged or under-represented. "Most lawyers like to keep their clients happy," he says, and are likely to respond to vigorous complaining. One of the problems of lawyer-client relations, he points out, is the layman-s trepidations about the whole arcane and fearsome apparatus of the law, and general mistrust of lawyers. It's a long-rooted tradition, boing back at least to the line Shakespeare gave one of his characters, who was voicing his notions of how to make the world a better place to live in. "First," he said, "we kill all the lawvers." If. that tradition has persisted, there seems to be reason for it. Chesterfield Smith, president of the American Bar Association, is quoted on the "fringe" of incompetent lawyers — 20 to 25 per cent of all those practicing in the U.jS., he says — that he "wouldn't trust to do anything." If that's the case, there Is real need for something like Denenberg's guidelines on how to avoid going wrong when you need a lawyer's services. Rulel: because you. probably can't trust 20 per cent or more of the lawyers in this country, picking one from the yellow pages of the phone book is like playing Russian roulette with your legal rights." Not much better are most of the referral services. Local bar associations, for example, generally compile the lists of lawyers who can be contacted. But some good lawyers prefer not to be listed, and the people operating the service seldom have enough legal expertise to send you to thej ^right"lawyer. Daily Times Herald 508 North Court Street Carroll, Iowa Daily Except Sundays and Holidays other than Washington's Birthday and Veteran's Day, by the Herald Publishing Company. JAMES W. WILSON, Publisher HOWARD B. WILSON, Editor W. L. REITZ, News Editor JAMES B. WILSON, Vice President, General Manager Entered as second-class matter at the post-office at Carroll, Iowa, under the act of March 2, 1897. Member of the Associated Press The Associated Press is entitled exclusively to the use for republication 6f all the local news printed in this newspaper as well as all AP dispatches. Probably the best way of getting to a right lawyer, says Denenberg, is through a recommendation from "people who are honest and who know what they're talking about." That might be a friend who's had personal experience with, and trusts, some good lawyer. Or ask any professional person you know and trust — your family doctor, clergyman or banker. If you work for a company big enough to have its own lawyer or legal staff, inquire there. As someone who's with the company, your needs are likely to get sympathetic and judicious consideration. Lawyers who aren't in private practice, Denenberg points out, are likely to be more objective in judging lawyers who are. If you know a lawyer who works for a government agency, for example, or can get an introduction, ask him for names. Waich out tor reierral fees. You might, for example, talk to Attorney Benchwarrant about your problem, only to find that he handles only criminal cases. So he sends you to Attorney Stuffgown, who has an arrangement whereby he pays Bench- warrant a referral fee, commonly equal to one-third of what he collects from you. It comes ultimately, of course, out of your pocket. How do you avoid paying referral fees? Simply ask the first lawyer whether .such a fee is involved. If the answer is yes, say you won't deal on that basis "Before a lawyer does any work for you, reach a clear understanding about his legal fees," Denenberg advises — and request that your understanding be confirmed in writing. Many lawyers will do this routinely — but ask it anyway. Probably the type of fee least subject to disagreement and complaints is a straight time basis, or hourly rate. led and stayed that way for a long, time. After that his left leg swelled, -and he was treated for blood clots. He is 64 and has a peptic ulcer. I try to watch his diet. He won't quit smoking because of the ulcer. He can take a little Maalox along and get by. He said he would try to quit smoking if he thought the leg problems were caused by smoking. DEAR READER — Your husband has two problems that should require him to quit smoking NOW, not to mention the dangers of lung disease and heart disease. I refer to the ulcer and the leg problems. The case I wrote about was a man with Buerger's disease, a disease that causes thickening of the areteries in the legs and blocks circulation. More imponantly, a recent study by Dr. Peter Levine at Tufts-New England Medical Center has demonstrated that smoking increases blood clotting. Here is how it works. There are some very small cells in the blood called platelets. They are important in forming a blood clot whenever we need a clot to stop bleeding. The clots that cause blockage of arteries in heart attacks and similar problems are largely composed of blood platelets. Dr. Levine's study showed that within five minutes of smoking a single cigarette the platelets began to clump and form plugs, or in other words to start the formation of blood clots. This is very important since it demonstrates how cigarette smoking can lead to an increased incidence of blood clots in the arteries to the heart, the brain or in vessels in the legs. It also tells you how many cigarettes are safe for a person to smoke — the answer is none. A single cigarette can cause the increased clotting reaction. If just one clot forms in the wrong place, you can have a problem. So, since your husband already has a blood clotting problem, I think he should quit smoking right now. I don't mean taper off or cut down, I mean quit completely and forever. It will cut down his need for Maalox, too. DEAR DR. LAMB — I have read that grapefruit burns up fat and is therefore excellent for weight reduction. Please explain this myth or truism. DEAR READER — You were right the first time. It is a myth or, in plainer words, pure hokum. The calories in grapefruit are still calories and contribute to the total number of calories eaten. They do "have-a relatively low calorie content per weight or bulk, and they are good food, but that is as far as it. goes. Official Paper of County and City Subscription Rates By carrier boy delivery per week .......... BY MAIL Carroll County and All Adjoining Counties, where carrier service ' is not available, per year ...... Outside of Carroll and Adjoining Counties In Zones 1 and 2 per All Other Mail in the United States, per year .................................. $27.00 go $20.00 BERRY'S WORLD © 1974 by NEA, Inc. "Wake up, George! Your favorite commercial is on — the one about grabbing all the gusto you can get in life!"