Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona on July 2, 1973 · Page 12
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Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona · Page 12

Phoenix, Arizona
Issue Date:
Monday, July 2, 1973
Page 12
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Monday, July 2,1179 The Arttoiii Rtpufelt* fttft 1 Richard . JllA^^^^Sta-ffJ* ftite*;^^*^ ' '( do not agree with n word that you wiy, but twill defend to the death your right to toy it* — (attributed M Voltaire) •' • ' : ' Attacks on PUHS are unfair Editor, The Ariiona Republic < I felt a little better after having read Bonnie Bartak's June ft article on Phoenix Union High School. After having attended Phoenix Union High School for four years and especially during the time that I served as student body president, I have become aware and concerned about the problems of PUHS. But more important, as .a student I have been able to see the reasons for the high drop-out rate and the low-enrollment problem that we have. Fortunately, the administration of PUHS is w6rkirig vigorously with the help of students, parents and community workers to combat these problems. However, there is one problem that cannot be handled by the students; the ' parents or the administrators. Public relations. For years now, the public and various forms of media have downgraded PUHS as being racially disturbed. When in fact, quoting from Bonnie Bar. tak's article, "according to John McFarland, director of the district's security and safety division, there wasn't an unpleasant incident on campus this year." For a school to survive it must sustain good morale and plenty of spirit. However, due to constant attacks by the media and with the idea that PU might be closed down by the school board after five years, it is little wonder that the 'Disaster lobby* nonsense It was gratifying indeed to read your editorial, "The Disaster Lobby" which pointed out the emotional and hysterical aspects of the present crusade on the part of the environmentalists who, posing as saviors of mankind but not at all qualified, predict the early fate of mankind-with their insane statements such as: There will be so much carbon dioxide in the air that it will eventually melt the Arctic ice cap and flood the cities of the East Coast. There will be so much ozone in the atmosphere generated by exhaust from airplanes combined with oxides of nitrogen that the whole atmosphere will be poisoned and the world's population slowly die. And here in Connecticut one sage has made the blanket statement that dirt in Save gas - and taxes! The gasoline shortage should prompt state officials to consider the following: Remove all state-owned vehicles from Bulldozed animals I enjoy walking in the desert near my home. One day recently I saw a sign saying that the area may be rezoned to increase the number of houses that can be built there. I don't know why any houses need to be built there. The area is already full of very nice homes, I wonder if there's any plan to relocate the present residents. Several coyotes live there or nearby. They'll have to move or risk being shot by the new residents who resent the old ones lingering. There are also jackrabbits, cottontails, ground squirrels, lizards, hundreds of kinds of insects and birds. It's impossible to count all the homes in the area but I'm sure they amount to more than 130 (on 120 acres) that someone wants to build there. There must be many more homes than are easily visible—judging by the number of residents that run or fly by or skitter along unseen in the tall grass by the side of the road. I. know of a pair of burrowing owls who inhabit part of the property. I often see one sitting in a tree and screeching to all intruders to get out of his territory. Tell it to the bulldozers, Mr. Owl. • Too bad all those homes will soon be emptied, crushed, or covered over to make room for some more of that human species that is already overbreed- ing itself (and the rest of the world's population) out of existence. LAURA SARGENT letter* The Republic welcomes letters on all subjects. However, they should be brief (letters of more than 3W words will not normally be considered for publication), legibly hand-written or typed (double spaced and on one side of paper). Correct names and addresses must accompany letters, although addresses will be withheld. All letters ire subject to editing. And no more than one letter wUI b* published within a two-month period from any one person. problems of PUHS are 50 hard o solve. Who wants to do good things on a campus where only the bad things are publicized? Who wants to attend a school that they might never graduate from? These are the questions that the students of PUHS are asking themselves. And many of the students;are coming upwith'the same answer — it just Isn't worth it. The solutions to these problems are simple. (1) The media must start publicizing more of the good things that PUHS has done. I am not asking that PU be given special attention, enly as much attention as any other school in our System, e.g., this past year students of PU cleaned up Seventh St. from. Van Buren to Baseline, picking up (rash in litter bags on foot. (Did you .hear about that?) . This solution would be of great help in building up the'morale and spirit at PU. (2) The school board should lift its five- year testing period and keep PUHS open indefinitely. This would reassure students that if they attend PU they can bet on graduating from there too. I believe these two simple solutions would help immensely in assisting those concerned in making Phoenix Union the kind of high school it once used to be. ROBERT DIAZ, PUHS Student Body President 1M3 ALLEDmONS. the avenue that's in search of a town? the air is costing every homeowner $600 a year for painting and decorating. Born in the latter part of the 19th century, I am one of over 10 million in my age group who were born and brought up when, coal was the only fuel available, burned by railroads, factories, steamships and for heating and cooking in our homes and where the air reeked of sulphur dioxide (called coal gas) and carbon monoxide far exceeding the present ridiculously low levels now prescribed by law. , I have ordered the book, "The Disaster Lobby," mentioned - in your editorial and am happy to note that at least one newspaper is not gullible enough to print so much nonsense which'has been evident in our local press. HENRY B. VAN ZELM West Hartford, Conn. the road that are used strictly for transportation to and from work and for personal trips. The number is considerable. Trips around town could utilize public transportation facilities, ae the public is being urged to do. Inter-city trips would be cheaper by plane than to furnish and maintain a fulltime vehicle. And several employes in one office could plan the use of one vehicle on separate days and get by with one instead of three or four. . Think of the savings not only in gas but in license fees, maintenance, repairs, purchase price and parking spaces. The gasoline shortage could not only be solved, but it might provide a reduction in taxes. L. E. BROWN i Yuma Antiquated law Someone has dug down deep, and come up with an old, antiquated liquor law that is now going to cut deep into the economy of the whole area. The liquor enforcement agency is now busy checking to see how many establishments are allowing liquor to be paid with a credit card, which is apparently illegal. It seems in a hotel .you cannot put a drink on a credit card in the bar, but you can walk into the dining room, order a drink and dinner and use the credit card. Conventions are the life blood of the hotels in the area and millions of dollars filter through Arizona's economy from them. Indeed, it is one of our largest sources of revenue in this state. In addition to this, we expect to get the Civic Center off the ground with conventions, and hopefully on a paying basis. Anyone in business today knows of the records that must be kept for tax purposes. Most conventions are for legitimate business purposes, but all monies paid out must be accounted for 'and for various reasons. It seems Arizona is regressing to drag out this law, when we are trying to encourage the convention business and construction of new hotels, as well as keep the present ones healthy. This law must be changed immediately, as the credit card is a necessary part of today's economy and we cannot let a legitimate business be damaged as are- suit of an old outdated law. MBS. ROBERT B, DUNN Paradise Valley "YUMA - An Avenw In Search of a'Tom" t As'you approach Yuma from the etit, you .quickly sense a feeling of movement. Giant lumbering DC lot touch down and take off in monotonous regularity at the McDonnell-Douglas test facility, white close by clusters .of Phantom jets prepare )o fly off to gunnery ranges thai eatend for miles around the edge of town.; : •. • - : .;• ' f . • •:'* The new Interstate Highway skirts the 'town's periphery, and expires in a mound of rock 'fill that resembles a pile of mine tailings as It awafts'the completion of the new Colorado diver bridge inching over from California. Threading around the freeway are trains on,the $P Mainline carrying produce from Yuma's fields to markets in the East. : * - • The town came into existence as a crossroad of transportation. Two hundred years ago, the Spanish followed the Glla River across the desert to its .junction with the Colorado. , They found the narrow river crossing which became the site of Yuma, and thought enough of its importance to build two garrison settlements to guard it. . Later, American gold seekers followed the same route, and the U.S. Army placed a fort on the' site of one of the Spanish settlements to protect the Americans. • * • TO SUPPLY, the fort steamboats were introduced on the Colorado River. The little cluster of adobe huts across the river from the fort found itself an inland port, and became the Arizona- Territory's main connection with the Pacific coast. To celebrate its new importance, the village changed its' name three times, from Colorado City to Arizona City and finally to Yuma in 1873. The railroad arrived in Yuma four years later and put the steamboats out of business. With the advent of the automobile, the coast-to-coast highway to San Diego followed the well-traveled path to Yuma, and in the 1930s the dust bowl refugees trekked over it in search of a new life in California. Instead of finding a welcome in the golden land west of the Colorado River, they found roadblocks. "Okies" were unwelcome in. California in those days, so many of them settled in Yuma. Fourth Ave. is ' the city's main thoroughfare and, unfortunately, the part of town from which travelers gain a lasting image of Yuma. It is a five- mile horror of motels, gas stations, hamburger palaces and use'd car lots with signs screaming for attention. It boasts an intersection that has the second highest traffic volume in Arizona William Raspberry ind real estate that sells for $1,MO • yard. Like Speedway In Tucson and McDowell in Phoenix, Fourth Avenue Is an e * a m pic of automobile-induced blight IN CONTRAST, the older shopping district on Main St., in what is called downtown Yuma, has been converted into a .shopping mall with plantings, fountains and dreaded sidewalk coverings. The area was refurbished hi an at* tempt to woo shoppers from Fourth Ave. as Well as from the new shopping centers which are as ugly as the avenue, and to salvage the property investments of some of the older families. It is said that it was 10 years late in coming, and this 1 is attested to by the number of Vacant stores under the arcades. a. ', • . Yet the Mall is a business area of human proportions where people can visit, shop and participate in cultural event!). The charm of .aft old Southwestern town Surrounds it, and the restoration and development of old buildings by history and art groups, while not keeping up with the destruction of old landmarks, gives hope for the future. there is a heady optimism that things are going well economically for Yuma. The town enjoys a healthy economy founded on agriculture, the military, and tourism. Its two military installations, even in an era of military cutbacks, seem destined for expansion because of their vast resources of real estate and because they can replace bases in more populous areas. * * • AGRICULTURE blessed by sun, soil and secure water supply produces .ever- increasing amounts of table vegetables and citrus. During the winter, throngs of elderly winter visitors clog the streets while trailer parks have become a burgeoning local industry. A scattering of clothing manufacturing plants utilizing low cost labor has also settled in Yuma. Some say the town has turned the corner economically and is about to take off like Tucson did 20 years ago. The builders declare that it's happening now, and point to with pride farmland in the valley covered with acres of stucco houses, apartments and condominiums adorned with pseudo-Spanish arches to give them the "Southwestern" look. A question yet unanswered is whether the growth that is now underway will enhance the quality of life in Yuma or cause it to repeat the mistakes of her larger sister cities and create another unsightly, unlivable sprawl. Perhaps for the majority of her citizens the question has yet to be asked, although there are some encouraging signs that the commit nlty la ready to come to grip* with the problem, , • : • •• •'• ' * *• • A GROUP of Influential dtltens with economic and political clout has recently formed for the purpose of promoting "controlled progress" in Yuma, and both city and county governments hive created and toaffM planning departments. <•• The economic Ind technological forces working against orderly, humanistic growth for,all cities throughout thrtuu tton art formidable. Perhaps It is presumptuous to think that Yuma, with the event the best .of intentions, can over? come them. In the meantime, Yuma remains 'a busy thoroughfare in search of a town. Richard Yates Is the director of U* brary and Audiovisual Services at Arizona Western College, He holds degrees In history and library science from the University of Oregon. Editor of the Arizona Western College. He holds degrees nomlc Guide to Arizona, Yates Is studying and writing about the Lftwer Color*, do River. His latest works In prepare- tlM are the Lower Colorado River: A Bibliography, and Desert Steamboats: The History of Steam Navigation on the Lower Colorado River. . / Drug culture r DIHBllinM^ Capitol Quips By PAT MAHAN A recent editorial headline asked, "What Comes Next, After Watergate?" Must have been written by that fella who asked the girl what she was doing after the orgy. • • • Hubert Humphrey is one Demo the Republicans probably don't bother to bug. He's been running so long his life is an open brook. • * • If anybody doubts Nurse June's saying that there are no guarantees in this life, just check with Dr. Rex Morgan's canceled patients. • • • Today's Graffiti: Secretariat's jockey changes his silks in a phone booth. Supreme Court ruling on pornography is wrong answer WASHINGTON When the subject is "obscenity," th-e U.S. Supreme Court has a penchant for a s k i n g the wrong question. It isn't surprising that it keeps coming up with the wrong answer. It did so again when it backed away from its own utterly - without • redeeming • social - value dictum in deciding five obscenity cases. It hardly even hinted at the question that underlies every censorship effort: Whom does the stuff harm, and how? instead, it got bogged down, and hopelessly confused, on its favorite question: What is pornography? It is a question beyond definition — almost by definition. And the answer it came up with? Each state and locality can decide the definition for itself — and throw you in jail if you run afoul of that definition. That's a strange conclusion under any circumstance. It is absolutely incredible in these days when books, magazines, movies, films, records and such so easily cross jurisdictional — and therefore, definitional - lines. V* . UNLESS I misread the decision totally, it holds, a piece of literature which is legally chaste when I put it in the mailbox may land someone in jail when you take it out. Such a result would be possible - wouldn't it? - if the material in question conforms with the pornography statutes in my hometown, but violates those jn yours. Naturally the court wrestled with the problem of definition; naturally it confessed its incapability of defining, and naturally it tried to define, or at least provide what it called "basic guidelines." — Whether "the average person applying contemporary community standards" would deem that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to prurient interest; — Whether the work depicts or describes "in a patently offensive way" sexual acts as the state law defines them, and — Whether the work, as a whole, "lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value." What the guidelines seem to say is that you can write about anything else you want to, and as worthless as you want to; but if you write about sex, you had better be able to justify it. Justify it to whom? If you want to write it and I want to read it, isn't that justification enough? • • • USUALLY, but not if the subject is sex, or what the court was pleased to call "excretory functions and lewd exhibition of the genitals." Isn't it just a trifle obscene for the highest court in the land to make its own sexual hangups the law of the land? No, I don't believe that First Amendment free-speech guarantees protect everything .that can be uttered. And in fact, I have no trouble with the court establishing a rule to cover one of the cases it decided — the case involving the application of the California obscenity law to "a situation in which sexually explicit materials have been thrust by aggressive sales action upon unwilling recipients who had in no way indicated any desire to receive such materials." That situation goes beyond the matter of consenting adults freely deciding to , buy-sell materials that someone else may find offensive. If the court wants to say you can't peddle dirty pictures by junk mail, or advertise porno with pictures or explicit descriptions in your shop window, or otherwise offend people who don't like what you're selling, who could object? But if all you've got is a sign on your door saying ''Pornography inside, adults, only," then what's the fuss about? * * * AT LEAST part of it, I think, has to do with the assumption — no matter how unsupported — that people who read erotic books or view erotic pictures will be led to go out and do erotic things to people who would rather be left alone. In other words, the stuff can turn you into some kind of sex-driven, mad person. Many people who know better intellectually still can't get that assumption out of their system emotionally. Instead, they resort to circumulocution and subterfuge. One of their favorites is "esthetics." Obviously some of the filth that's being peddled is offensive to nearly everybody. But isn't it enough not to inflict it on those who would be offended by; it? Another is this: Tell them you doubt that anyone will be harmed by reading what you both agree is trash, and they'll Sidney J. Harrln say: "Aha! If good literature can uplift the spirit, why can't bad literature debase it?" The truth is, neither the elevation ; nor the abasement is likely to translate into action. It's about as improbable that you'll finish your pornographic reading and go out and commit rape as it is that you'll finish the life of Queen Elizabeth I and go out and become a virgin. The changed library scene If you h a v e n 't been in most libraries for a long time, you're in for a pleasant shock. Especially if you're of my vintage, when public libraries were considered the p r i v a t e preserve of the librarians. When I was a boy, most librarians looked like the comic Valentines we used to send each other: dry and desiccated, pinched and censorious, unlived, unloved and unlovely, they swore by the Dewey Decimal System, and at anybody who dared to disturb, the numerical symmetry on the shelves. These dragons guarding the sacred precincts of literature and scholarship did more to discqurage library patronage than anything else in my school years; one almost apologized for breathing in the stacks, and whispering violated the first statute in the Criminal Code. Besides, the books they recommended — after they were sure you weren't the carrier of an unmentionable disease- were as prissy and life-suffocating as they were themselves. * * * ALL THIS has changed nowadays. I have lectured to librarian associations in many states, and, during National Library Week this spring, J had occasion to meet and mingle with many of the new breed- They are as different from the old comic Valentines as a bikini from a bustle. They are different not only in age, looks, and temperament, but also in professional attitude. They are excited about good books, and want to get readers excited, too. They have excellent standards, sound values, and they know that a book perishing on the shelf is a disservice both to the library and its patrons. From passive guardians they have become active disseminators of reading matter. * • *. THERE HAS BEEN another change, even better. As tyrannical as the old librarians were toward the patrons, so submissive were they to authorities, especially library boards. They were always the timid hand-maidens of the lo» cal Establishment, taking out their aggressiveness on children but bowing and scraping before the semi-literate edicts of their paymasters. Today, librarians everywhere;see themselves in the forefront of the fight against capricious and arbitrary censorship. They recognize that they are the first line of defense against the Knowr Nothings and the Roundheads who would ban any book that threatens their parochial smugness. And they have spoken up boldly against all forms of censorship based on prejudice, partisanship, er plain jackassery. Yet the communications systems of the new libraries have been a relative failure. Many, if not most, people,.are not aware of what the modern library has to offer, and how bloomingly it has changed. \

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