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jlordjlBcst CitmS Editorial-Opinion Page Tht Public intertst It The Fint Concern Oj This Newifaper 4 0 SATURDAY, JUNE 22, 1974 An Unwitting Victim Watergate wends its weary way toward who knows what climax -- or when -- amid a deepening of outrage or even concern by the great American public. Where Watergate does still irk and chafe, perhaps, is in the suspicion that somehow the nation's economy is the unwitting victim of too much White House concern for political intrigue and international affairs. Polls show, more and more, that the American public is worried about inflation -- about the cost of living and taxes -- more than Mr. Nixon's problems and Watergate. In response, both the Senate and the House are grappling with tax matters. In the House, Rep. Wilbur Mills is cogitating how best to modify tax breaks and income tax impositions, with a cautious eye on second and third quarter economic indices. (The truth of the matter, too, is that Rep. Mills has been preoccupied all spring with defending his bastion of power over tax matters from assaults by reform elements in the House -the latter of which may well hold greater promise for tax relief than the former). In the Senate, meanwhile, there is more evidence of urgency, and more free-wheeling debate on the ways and means of doing something about tax reform. Tax breaks for middle and lower income families appear certain in some form, in the Senate. The administration, however, is against such a move and no one knows when or what the House will come up with, in the way of legislation. The upshot of these conflicting pressures in Washington at least to some extent, will unquestionably have a bearing on fall campaigning. Democratic congressional candidate Bill Clinton of Fayetteville has already staked out considerable ground in his opposition to the economic policies of the present administration, most of which have received routine support by Rep. John P. Hammerschmidt. There is no doubt at all that inflation and the economy remain a top concern for American voters through this summer and into fall. It is just as certain that economy and what to do about it will be a major anvil for congressional candidates. It is interesting in this respect to note that the Nixon Administration, in opposing tax cuts for individuals, is busy endorsing additional tax breaks for big business and industry as a way to stimulate the economy. A Problem. Of Medical Standards CHICAGO (ERR) -- Do the cost-control efforts of federally funded Professional Standards Review Organizations (PSRO) threaten the standards of health care for the nation's aged and poor? That is the fear voiced by many physicians, and the fssue promises to spark vociferous debate at the American Mcdica| Associations annual convention in Chicago, June 22- 28. Signed by President Nixon in 1972, the PSRO legislation established "a program organized, administered and controlled by local physicians to evaluate the necessity and quality of medical care delivered in their area under Medicare, and maternal and child health programs." Proponents of the legislation call attention to the spiraling From Our Files; How Time Flies .10 YEARS AGO A 35-year-old Gentry teacher was arrested by Benlon County sheriff's deputies Saturday morning for illegal possession of benzedrine pills. The arrest culminated a two-day search for the supplier of t w o Tulsa men arrested Friday In Fayetteville. The weather was hot, Harmon Field was crowded, and some so VEARS AGO Over 400 Grotto members are scheduled to parade from the station to the square at three o'clock this afternoon. The north side of the square has been roped off for the events and all traffic will be cleared. The Arkansas Press Association yesterday elected FI. M. Jackson of Mariana president, and passed a resolution for- 100 YEARS AGO Grangers: A resolution was adopted by the Washington County Council at its last session at Farminglon, accepting an invitation from the Benton County Council to meet said body in District Council at Elm Springs on the 2nd Saturday in July. The object of the meeting is to take into consideration the erection of manufactories, etc. mothers looked a little uncertain, but everything went smoothly as more than 230 boys piled into trucks and headed for a week at the Baptist Association Grounds at Siloam Springs. Plans to erect a 105 bed nursing home were announced today by Fred Brandon of Springdale, who has purchased a site at Lewis Avenue and Hwy. 11Z. bidding association members to carry jokes or slurs on slate or national prohibition officers during the coming year. A Ford roadster belonging to Ray Williams and a sedan driven by William Simpson of the Simpson-Mintun Co. collided Dickson Street last night with material damage to each car. To Whom it May Concern: The committees appointed by P. G. Walnut Grove, and Viney Grove Granges met at Prairie Grove recently for the purpose of employing Mechanics in wood and iron to do the work for the three granges. - The contract will be let out for one year to the lowest and the best bidder. costs of medical care and the consequent need to draw up guidelines concerning the average length of hospital stays in each PSRO area, as well as criteria -for the treatment of most types of illness. Standards vary from locale to locale, depending on tbe number and types of services available for treating patients. Viewed by its supporters not as strict set of rules but as a method of screening by peers of the type of health care available in each region, the PSRO program is designed to cut down on medical costs by eliminating over-extended or unnecessary treatment. Opponents of the PSRO concept disagree and are pushing for the program's abolition. They see it as an encroachment of government on the medical profession and as a threat to doctor-patient confidentiality. PSROs, they feel, place more emphasis on the cost of medical care than on its quality. One legally ticklish provision even promises to protect physicians from civil liability, on condition that they are found to have acted "in compliance with or reliance upon professionally developed norms of care and treatment supplied by a Professional Standards Review Organization." Dr. Robert S. .laggard, president of the Association of American Physicians a n d Surgeons, calls the PSRO legislation "a vicious, punitive Taw which will force Pphysidans to practice medicine by averages." The American Medical Association so far has straddled the fence, although at least 20 state medical associations have urged top AMA officials to take a strong stand against PSROs. Six, and possibly seven, s e a t s on the 12-member board of trustees will be vacant by the time the AMA convenes, and (he struggle to fill them may well hinge mainly on the candidates' positions on PSROs specifically and more generally on government interference of any sort in the practice of medicine. Pros And Cons Of Pesticides VITAL. "Boom in Agri- chemicals." Business W e e k , June Â», 1974, pp. 52 62. "One key reason why U.S. agriculture has become so productive -- turning out enough to feed more and more of the hungry world as well as to meet domestic demand -- is that American farmers have poured huge amounts of agricultural chemicals into the ground. Fertilizers have boosted the yields of crops, and pesticides have kept down the bugs and weeds that would otherwise devour them." "But now a crunch between supply and demand is wrecking the delicate balance....Many of the agrichemical producers have been hampered by the shortage of natural gas, a prime raw material of ammonia, which is a main ingredient of nitrogen fertilizers. Environmental pressures and in sufficient electric power supplies have held up expansion of capacity for another main fertilizer raw material: phosphates....The use of pesticides is being restricted by tougher federal regulations." "Both producers and distributors believe that farmers themselves are contributing to the potential for shortages of pesticides by buying them up a n d hoarding them." "As farmers put more land under cultivation their use of pesticides is bound to increase....^ producers are entering a period in which they are going to have growing 'disputes with the EPA over the safety of some of their products." "How Would Each Of You Fellows Like A Nuclear Reactor?" INEFFECTUAL. Kevin P. Shea, "The Last Boll Weevil," Environment, June 1974, pp. 610. "By the spring of 1975 the southern cotton belt may be the cite of the most gigantic insect eradication program ever undertaken in the United States. The target of the proposed program, which will u t i l i z e massive amounts of organophosphate insecticides as well as other control techniques, is the boll weevil, a tough, persistent pest that has plagued southern cotton producers since it crossed the Mexican - American border into Texas in the early 1890s and eventually spread to the eastern seaborad." "The stakes are high. Estimates of losses due to the boll weevil range from $200 to $300 million each year, and though 1958 southern cotton producers had lost over $10 billion as a direct result of boll weevil damage and the cost of controlling the insect. On the other hand, should the eradication plan fail, a very likely possibility in the the massive expenditure will have been wasted, bat more i m p o r t a n t , the eradication attempt may nave some detrimental and lasting effects on future boll weevil control strategy." "The program could hardly be better designed to induce resistance quickly should the species possess the capability in its gene pool. This could prevent the program from succeeding and at the same time produce a super boll weevil." Bible Verse The Word of God says that whatsoever we say in faith, He will make it so! "Have faith in God." "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting live." John 3:16 Here is what God did for our Salvation and wbat we must do to have it. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved." State Of Affairs The Public Owes A Lot To Leaks By CLAYTON FRITCHEY WASHINGTON -- Archibald Cox, who overnight became a revered martyr when the President fired him as the Watergate special prosecutor, is the latest to join the swelling chorus of those deploring "leaks" in Washington. But Cox should be the last man to complain. Without leaks, he would not be a national hero today. Had there been no leaks about Watergate, there would have been no criminal investigation; and had there been no investigation, there would have been no Archibald Cox as Lord High Prosecutor. As Leon Jaw o r s k 1' s predecessor. Cox achieved both dismissal and immortality by demanding documents that Mr. Nixon refused to turn over. Now, however, Cox, who has been away from the Washington scene for some time, seems to have forgotten the constructive, indeed indispensable, role that leaks have consistently played in unraveling the greatest scandal in the country's history. Nobody should know better than Cox that so-called leaks are an inevitable part of the Washington scene. As tbe first special prosecutor, Cox, a former solicitor general of tbe United States, conducted himself impeccably and imposed the same conscientious standards on his large staff. Yet, as the White House complained, there were some leaks even from his office. The biggest leak of all, in fact, to his credit, was the first to acknowledge it. He privately told Sen. Edward Kennedy (D- Mass.) and Sen. Philip Hart (D- Mich.) that former Atty. Gen. R i c h a r d Kleindienst had secretly confessed to misleading a Senate committee about his role in the ITT anti-trust case. BUT, AS IS USUALLY the ease with leaks, no real harm was done, for the information came out anyway (as it had to) when Kleindienst l a t e r pleaded guilty to not telling the truth about his orders from President Nixon. It U generally assumed (but not proven) t h a t the present leaks about Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's involvement in White House wiretaps originated either in tbe House Judi- Rep. Peter Rodino (D-N.J.) or in Jaworski's operation. In fairness, however, to Rodino and Jaworski. it should be noted that, like Cox himself, they have conscientiously tried to maintain the integrity of their operations. But they both have large staffs, and Rodino has a committee with 38 members who are privy to secret information. In the circumstances, as every practical politician in Washington knows, leaks are inevitable. Cox was far wide of the mark in alleging that the leaks and stories about Dr. Kissinger are a throwback to the "heyday" of McCarthyism. The complaint against Sen. Joe McCarthy was not that he used leaks but that he invented false charges against others, along with twisting and maliciously distorting such tips as came his way. That is a long way from a responsible press publishing important leaks after first making sure they are accurate and reliable. When Sen. Hugh Scott R- Pa.), the minority leader of the Senate, also condemned t h e recent Kissinger news stories as McCarthyism, S e n . Lowell Weicker (R-Conn.) t o o k sharp issue, saying, "The press has every right to ask questions. Everybody is sitting h e r o saying they believe in freedom of the press, BUT . . . . There u no 'but' to tbe First Amend- ment." And he added: "I think I understand what McCarthyism is, and it seems to me that equating dissent or the asking of questions with disloyally and treason runs far closer to McCarthyism" than what Scott had in mind. SOME OF THE officials making the greatest noise about leaks are themselves among Washington's prominent sieves. That includes .Sen. Scott, Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz.). Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) and Vice President Gerald Ford, who says the nameless leakers are trying to "undercut" b o t h Mr. Nixon and Dr. Kissinger. The biggest show of indignation, however, comes from the White House, which itself is by all odds the leakiest institution in Washington. The President's men are experts at it. After they got through leaking against former Vice President Spiro Agnew, he was a terminal case. When the White House is the victim of leaking, though, it is equally adept at staging what humorist Russell Baker calls its well-rehearsed "shamc-on-tlie- leakers!" act. As he says, the aim of that routine "is to change the subject so that everybody will stop thinking about the main plot line and start worrying about the evils of journalism." It is not h a r d to see why the Nixon apologists are so worked up on the subject, for it is leaks that, in addition to Watergate, exposed the secret illegal bombing of Cambodia, the eye - opening Pentagon Papers, the hidden "tilting" against India, the My Lai massacres, the falsifying of Air Force records, the collusion with ITT and the multibillion- dollar overruns on military contracts. The fact is, the public owes a lot to leaks. (C) 1974, Los Angeles Times Arkansas Editors Comment On Governmental Reform, Legislative Items, Rain SPRISGDALE NEWS Now that the primaries are over the voting public will be more occupied w i t h summer activities than who they are goirrg to support in the November general election. Politics will be pushed aside until fall when candidates begin to activate their campaigns. But come November t h e r e Â·will be more decisions to make at the polls than just who we are going to eleit governor or county judge or sheriff. There will be at least three amendments to the Arkansas Constitution (and maybe more) on tbe ballot and they propose some significant changes in government that the taxpaying public should devote a little thought to between now and November. One of those is an a m e n d m e n t t o restructure county government by placing more control in the hands of the citizens through creation of a smaller quorum court consisting of 9 to 15 justices of the peace elected from different geographic areas. The more streamlined q u o r u m court would be to county government what a city council is to municipal government. The amendment also contains two other provisions important to this discussion of one aspect of county government--law enforcement. It would give four- year terms to elected county officials, including the sheriff, and permit the quorum court to alter or modify the structure of county government as it saw fit--providing the change w a s approved by the voters. .. ...this time the public can da more than" shrug iU collective shoulders and go on about its business, The proposed constitutional amendment, if approved, would remove low constitutional limits on county offices and permit quorum courts to establish salaries commensurate with the job. That would attract quality candidates and remove the temptation of fees, expense allowances and funds for prisoner feeding. It would also give the quorum court the leeway to consider such things as a civil service system for deputies and bring some permanancy to the job. no matter who is elected sheriff. By creating standards for employment, the quality of law enforcement could be improved on the county level a n d deputies would be restrained from taking part in "campaign activities" like those at Turrell. And, a four-year term for sheriff would enable him to concentrate on administrative programs while leaving f i e l d work in civil and criminal investigation to chief deputies. -No, the amendment would not be a cure-all. But the possibilities for improvement are sure better. Through the governing quorum court the handle on its government through elected representatives who would be responsive to their constituency. And that's what government is all about. ARKANSAS GAZETTE Governor Bumpers tentative list of items for the special legislative session is a good list as far as it goes and. tentatively, wt find nothing in it that should not be approved by the legislature. Mr. Bumpers has 40 items I n c l u d i n g such attractive proposals as purchasing a Tnodicum of wilderness land for the state to preserve and expanding medical aid for the working poor. There is one absolutely essential proposal to provide adequate funding for the stale's new system of kindergartens. Financing these measures will pose no problem at all, for state financial experts estimate Â·-- if no further appropriations were made -- that surpluses of various kinds would total about $130 million by the end of the biennium, next June 30. Indeed, substantial surpluses would stul remain if Bumpers' tentative program for the special session should not be expanded, either by the governor or by the legislature. What we regret is that Mr. Bumpers has not yet seen fit to include provisions for larger increases in teacher salaries this fall. The average raise will be about $500, which will be wiped out by inflation. And if past experience is any Â·guide, Arkansas in 1974-75 will still be left dragging next to last (just above Mississippi) in the teacher salary ratings of the Â·tales. Estimates will Vary substantially on how much surplus can be committed on continuing programs, like teacher salaries, without making a tax increase necessary. By conservative estimates, however, some $20 million can be appropriated for continuing operations without overload on the future s l a t * financing. About half of this would be used in the items of a continuing nature that Mr. Bumpers has advanced so far. Arkansas is still 49th among the states in its pay for teachers. It has been 49th for five years. This single melancholy statistic should wrap up the case against any continuing large surplus in general revenues. A state government should not have large surpluses. They are an invitation to extravagance, to disorientation of priorities. Either the surpluses should be used wisely for unmet needs or taxes reduced. The latter resort is out of the question, given Arkansas's low estate in public education and the dilemma of state employes hit by ravenous inflation. The needs in state services arc all too apparent as the legislature prepares to convene on June 24th for the special session. At session's end there will be not much excuse for prospective surpluses beyond tuch cushions as prudence requires. Senate is an insult to the law abiding -- and the tax paying -- citizens of Arkansas. Senator Walmsley anticipates that some other senators will join his move: Jim Caldw*ll, Ben Allen, Nick Wilson and J. A. Womack, They are to be complimented, too. Senator Walmsley did not list the names of this area's senators, Knox Nelson and Morrell Gathright, as cosponsors of his resolution. Their names are conspicuous by their absence. And they should waste no time in doing what they can to aid Senator Walmsley's overdue attempt to restore t h e Senate's standards. PINE BLUFF COMMERCIAL It's about time: State Senator Bill Walmsley will introduce a resolution first thing in the special session questioning the qualifications of Senator Mutt Jones to serve in that body. It has taken entirely too long to bring the question up. Senator Jones himself points out that, although,** had been found guilty of income tax evasion and filing false income tax retumi, he was allowed to serve In the 1973 General Assembly. That was entirely too lonj; his presence in th* staU ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT A movement to change the form of government in North Little Rock is under way. After some study the decision has been made to try to adopt the city administrator form, rather than city management. We think it is a wise decision for these reasons: Three directors are elected at large but four are elected from and by wards, thereby assuring that at least one public official will have first-hand knowledge of the problems in every part of town. In city Management all director* run at large and conceivably could live on the same street There is an elected mayor, rather than an appointed one as in city management. He has no vote but he doet have veto power, which is a useful republican device that can keep the minority from being run over by Â· steamroller V a bandwagon. Alto, an eltirted mayor gives the entire city a rallying point. And his popularity is a good index to the mood of the city. directors or mayors A procedure for recalling unpopular directors or mayors is provided for. This is an important check that is not available to citizens governed either under the city manager or mayor-council systems. Of course, the most important value of either city administrator or city management is that it gets around the lOfl-year- old constitutional limits on the salaries of public officials. A college-trained specialist can he hired to run the city; the administrator in Fort Smith (the only Arkansas city to have the city administrator system) is paid $27,000 a year, five times directors, who serve for only token pay, concern themselves just with policy, leaving the daily details to the professional, the constitutional limit. T h e of policy would be to fire the administrator immediately if he made judgments b a s e d on something other than the facts. Politics, for instance. ROGERS' NEWS Not only did Benton County receive devastating floods of water Saturday, the area also received tremendous floods of sightseers who caused untold problems for law enforcement officers and rescue teams. With empty streets, travel for emergency vehicles would have b e e n extremely difficult, because of the high water. But the street* were not Â·mpty, they were filled with can, In order to reach their destinations, law enforcement officers, ' on their way to respond to requests for help; from stranded citizens, were forced to turn around or back up flooded street after street that were blocked by sightseers. Even on passable streets and highways, car after car. filled with sightseers -- b a r e l y moving, with all occupants craning their necks to see thÂ» s u r r o u n d i n g conditions -refused to yield to emergency vehicles. Sightseers flocking to the streets caused traffic jams at all major intersections, since most traffic control lights in all county towns were inoperable. We realize that part of Saturday's travel was necessary. Yet part was not. Many persons, only drove around a block or two, to see the conditions of their neighbors, but added together these block-or-two drivers resulted in major problems for officials. Not only are the sightseers placing others in peri! that could result in property damage or even injury or loss of life, they are also doing the same to themselves. With Saturday's fast-moving water across many streets and highways cars could have easily have been swept into the raging atreams. Mothers with infant children at their sides,were seen wading in the roaring torrents that crossed city streets-an extremely dangerous practice-and ignored warnings from officers.