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' Jfrrttytoett Editorial-Opinion Page The Public Interest Is The First Concern O/ This Newspapr 4 Â· FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 1974 More Confessions Of A Mafia Hoodlum Things Could Be Worse... "The Arknasas Highway Commission and highway setup is the envy of every other state in the nation," says AHC member James Branyan, who represents the southern districts of the state. "The reason for this is the continuity of 10-year terms for long-range planning. Every time we change Â·governors we don't change commissioners like they do in many states..." Branyan made the remarks the other day in advising some boosters of an interstate highway system through El Dorado hat while that remains a possibility it is still a long way down the road." : The important thing about the highway picture in Arkansas at the present time, says Branyan, is that each district is assured of its share of revenues, and that the state revenue picture remains healthy in spite of the inroads of inflation. The AHD is presently assembling data to justify a north-south interstate through Arkansas and that will soon go to the Department of Transportation. If Arkansas makes a good enough case for 'a new route, the federal government will run its own studies before making a final decision. In the meantime, of course, the commissioner indicates, there is a congressional move to make lower speed limits permanent and no one yet knows the eventual impact of the energy shortage and environmental standards imposed on new autos relative to future highway designs and needs. As the commissioner tells his constituency in south Arkansas, the problem at the moment is not pie in the sky but to get the most highway for the district with a shrinking tax dollar. In that context, we in Northwest Arkansas can worry about the work that hasn't been okayed yet, but we should also thank our commissioner, Jake Patterson of Lavaca, for all the important work that has recently been accomplished or is still under way in this corner of the state. For a guy who lives south of the Arkansas River, he is most sympathetic to this area's needs. ...In Fact, A Lot Worse... President Ford managed a rather remarkable feat the other evening, it seems to us on reflection. The President staged his second news conference as President. He scheduled it at the front end of the prime time evening teevee viewing period. He held it, presumably, because of a rumbling national controversy over his pardon the week before of ex-President Nixon. With all that going for the occasion, the news conference somehow wound up making almost no news at all. Considering the times, this is an abnormal accomplishment, and perhaps more auspiciously promising for the future than anyone has given Mr. Ford credit for. If he can continue to hold press conferences and not say anything, he might yet get the nation's affairs back on an even keel. In addition, the President was considerate enough not to interfere with the Monday Night Football game, which is an im- nrovement over the previous White House tenant, who despite his avowed affection for sports, managed to pre-empt baseball as well as football clashes in his periodic confessions of innocence about Watergate. From The Readers Viewpoint To Whom It May Concern . . . To the Editor: Do you want to hear a 'sad story'? Hardly anyone does! Sometime Thursday or Friday, at the Washington County Fair- g r o u n d s , Thompson Hall, Flower Arrangement Section, I lost a dear and cherished 'friend'. It was in my third place winner. Oriental Flower Arrangement -- and it was a small (3" plus high) rosewood Buddha, purchased from Chinatown in Los Angeles, 34 years ago, beautifully carved and deeply gleaming. I felt it was necessary to complete the Oriental theme of the arrangement of three yellow chrysanthemums. I wondered at the time if someone might ake it -- but no, not here in our chosen home of the Ozaiks -Land of Beauty. With so much natural beauty around, why would anyone need more? So I placed him carefully, and I am sure he was enjoyed by many before some misdirected soul took him away. : Is he valuable? Yes -- but only to me. He has one broken arm and one broken foot, glued back on by me! He will bring nothing in the antique store or pawn shop! He is the.Happiness Buddha and God of Good Luck -- will he bring such things to his new owner? Not if the laws of ancient belief hold true, because he was taken from one who loved and cherished him and now ho can only brood and bring dismay to any new owner. Sacrilegious blasphemy? Perhaps. But who hasn't had their rabbit's foot, four leaf clover, etc.? That little guy carried me through many a rough moment during my early years and has brought me much pleasure since then. He 'means' something only to me! I shudder to think what could happen to his new owner -- I arn sure he is unhappy and lonesome for his old home in one of our glars display cases of cherished memories of 32 years together, you see I had him two years before we married. Do I want him back? I'm not really sure -- his wonderful happiness spell and good luck may he permanently damaged by" being in the possession of someone so desperate -- so desperate they would dare to removed him from his home and loving owner. But if that person does decide to relinquish this doubtful prize, please don't, just toss him away, take him to the newspaper, or someplace else where I may retrive him. I will understand about his absence, I know he has charm, but he is 'valuable* only to me -- we have been together for 34 years. Mrs. Stanley (Erma) Potts Fayetteville Good Solon To the Editor: I wish to write this letter so that the people of the Third Congressional District will know what a great Congressman they have at this time. I do not live in Congressman Hammerschmidt's district but I have had difficulties with the Veteran's Administration and I have appealed to rny congressman from whom I have received no help at all. So in despiration I have a p p e a l e d to Congressman Hammerschmidt and have received very courteous and cooperative assistance. I just want the people that he represents to know that we are proud of Congressman Hammerschmidt and his attitude toward those of us who have served our country and cannot afford to make large financial contributions to his campaign but respect him for his work for the common man in this state. It is my hope that the good people in his district will see fit to return him to Washington so that he can continue to help the people of the State of Ar- kansas. Batesville Aubrey G. Powel! They'll Do It Every Time lfi 81K HAS MOC6 OFFICE SPACfcTHAN ITS CWN6R"- ISVER/ TRUSTING! K THINKS HIS 8IK6.IS SAFER By JACK ANDERSON WASHINGTON -- In an earlier column, we began the confessions of Eugene Ayottc, better known inside the Mafia as "Johnny A," who has been hiding under a false identity since he defected to the Justice Dept. six years ago. He has talked to us at length about his life in the Detroit Mafia. We have also obtained confidential FBI reports of his interviews with agents. His revelations provide the most dramatic account of Mafia opera^ lions since the late Joe Valachi ripped the veil of secrecy from this sinister society in 1963. Ayotte has described a netherworld of violence, corruption and profit. It is a world ruled by a few overlords who command the unquestioning loyalty of their criminal subjects. The penalty for disobedience is death. It is a strange, mystic world whose roots are sunk deep in Sicily but whose methods are those of modern America. Johnny A, a swarthy, handsome man with a Runyonesque flair, was a swindler. He specialized in arranging burglaries and burnings for shady businessmen who would collect the insurance and sometimes a share of the fenced 'goods. He also helped the Mafia take over failing businesses. He pressed the proprietor of a Detroit lounge to cash h.is bad checks, for example, until the poor fellow went broke. Then the Mafia stepped in, bailed him out and took over the bar. In short order, the Mafia managers set up a poker table in the cellar and began raking in profits from both booze and The Washington Merry-Go-Round Leash Law To the Editor: The City Board of Directors is to be commended for' its action -.- on the "leash law" enacted recently. Director R.L. Utley deserves a special vote of thanks for his statement on individual property and citizens' rights which many dog owners will refute with "my dog and I can do no wrong." What action can the individual take when the dog owner daunts the ordinance by continuing to turn his animals out not only under cover of night but also during the day? Will the new ordinance be enforced? Can one condemn "lawbreaking in high places" when it is broken in the home? Honesty and abiding by the rules begin in the home and arc passed on in the school, the precinct, the municipality, the state, and the national government. Let Fayetteville citizens start at home! Mrs. W.A. Guinn Fayetteville Day Of Days To the Editor: Constitution Day, Sept. 17, was the second most important day in the history of our Nation. Adopted on Sept. 17, 1787, it united the original thirteen States and.created the Republic, which took over on March 4, 1788, from the continental Congress, which on that day hung out the sign, "Under new management, . Open for business." Our Constitution is the greatest set of rules ever given to any people excepting only the ten Commandments, the basis for all law, given by Moses to his people. In the observance of the 200th birthday of our Nation, in addition to all else we plan to do, ought we not resolve to readopt and re-vitalize the Consti tution that enabled us to become the greatest nation on Earth in so many ways? H.G. Hulm Rogers Bible Verse "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comelh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Hebrews 11:6 Do not pray for faith but put Into practice what He has already imparted to you. "He has given to every man a measure of faith." It is enough, let it go to God against that need and expect a miracle. He will not fail thee. "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8 Long before it was decided which way you were going, Jesus went to the cross to assure you of the abundant and eternal life. "He that believeth on tho Son hath life, he that helicveth not the Son shall not see l i f e gambling. The lounge began attracting celebrities, among them Detroit Lions football stars Wayne Walker and Mike Lucci, who got into a scuffle. The publicity frightened the Mafia, which hastily abandoned its interest in the lounge. Ayotto's most prodigal business venture -- a classic example of how the Mafia operates a legitimate business -landed him in the slammer for bankruptcy fraud. With $13,500 handed to him by Detroit's mob enforcer Mike Rubino, Johnny A opened a furniture store. From the beginning, he said, it was to be a "busl-out joint" -- that is, a business which would be milked and then bankrupted, leaving all the creditors with empty hands. Ayotte opened a bank account with the $13,500, wangled a registration license from the city and provided Dun and Bradstreet with a cock-and-bull story to impress creditors. T h e n Ayotte and his Mafia partners spent the $13,500 on furniture. The cash purchase and the Dun and Bradstreet rating enabled Ayotte to order around $300,000 worth of furniture on credit. The "Palm Furniture Company," as Ayotte called his new establishment, developed a curious clientele. During the daytime, not many customers disturbed Johnny A and his friends who passed the time playing gin rummy. But at night, the store swarmed with M a f i a customers who rolled up in their big Cadillacs. "There would always be 20 or 30 people. . .taking everything out the doors nightly," alleges a confidential FBI memo based on Ayotle's statements. Some customers paid nothing, others left token payments. The friendly furnlturemen continued their largesse for three months until they almost ran out of furniture. Ayotle recalls that a Michigan prison warden picked out a shortwave radio for himself and a t a p e recorder as a graduation gift for his daughter. Both items were delivered' to' him at the prison by Rubino's personal body guard. Ayotte also told the FBI that a police inspector, the late Paul Sheridan, "just about furnished his entire home with goods taken from the Palm." Some of the biggest bosses in gangdom shopped at the Palm. Furniture deliveries were made to their fashionable Grosse Point homes in the dead of night. Others dropped by the store to pick up refrigerators, air conditioners, Italian proven- cial furniture or whatever struck Iheir fancy. None of them were properly billed. Johnny A's customers read like Who's Who in the Rogues Gallery -- Angelo Meli, Joseph "Joe Whip" Triglia, Anthony "Tony Long" Cimini, William "Black Bill" Tocco, John "Papa John" Priziola and Â· even the Don of Dons, Joseph Zerilli. One gangland intimate, not in on the secret, looked at the disappearing merchandise and commented loudly: "I don't think this store is being run right." . The Justice Dept. thought so, loo. Federal prosecutors even- tually ehut down Ihe Palm and locked up Johnny A. MAFIA-GO AROUND: Here arc some more of Eugene Ayol- te's Mafia slorles: Toledo's most notorious Mafia don, Anthony "Whitey" Beasasc, keeps a "beautiful shrine of the Virgin Mary with running water and all and the flowers in h i s backyard. . .During the Senate crime hearings in 1963, the mob nervously ordered all numbers money called in. One hood, Dominic "Sparky" Corrado, was $150,000 short. He had lo make good by selling his house and mortgaging h i s brother s home..The Marlon Brando movie, "The Godfather,' accurately portrays the M a f i a s close ties with politicians. and entertainers, a c c o r d i n g to Ayoltc. A gangland promoter, named Herman "Turk" Prujan- sky, hobnobbed with five t o p singers, several movie stars and a famous New York columnist, said Ayotte... Lawmen who koep Mafia figures under surveillance are known in underworld parlance, as "baby sillers". . .The Mafia goes by many names -- Unionc Siciliano, the Black hand, the Syndicate, the Organization. But to many insiders, il is the Cosa Nostra, "our thing . . .bo many Mafia bigwigs wound up wilh expensive farmland outside Detroit that they jÂ°k n |'y began to call each other Zeke. --United Feature Syndicate . Certain Inalienable Law And An Order Uerbteck w taking a fete weeto off to finish a. book. What Others Say... PUNISH CHEATERS We're not under the illusion that Pros. Atty. Lee Munson is going to locate very many of those "persons" who are the object of a'jout 300 charges involving fraud in the state-administered food stamp program. Neither is Munson. Quite simply, the problem is -- as one of Munson's deputies points out -- finding persons who gaye the state false names and listed their address as a schoolyard, cemetery or park. We do not agree with Munson, however, that those who are found should be "let off the hook if they would agree to repay the Social Services Department the full amount should be prosecuted and, if found guilty, given some kind of sentence, if only a light one. Another dimension of that problem is the crying need for some kind of monitoring system in the food stamp program. We are well aware of the fact that human dignity should not he made to suffer while persons stand in long lines, fill out endless forms and are made to feel that Big Brother is always snooping around the corner to see that they are properly qualified for social services. However, we also are concerned about the dignity of taxpayers who arc supporting a program for the poor but who, along with Ihe poor, are victimized by fraud. Letling that practice continue without giving serious attention to it not only abuses the taxpayer, including the working poor, it also cheats the poor who deserve help that food stamps are designed to give. The slate Social and Rehabilitative Services Department, we learn, is going to set up a "fraud unit" lo prevent the reoccurrence of the kind of fraud that has taken Munson's office thousands of manhours just to uncover, with little chance that he will ever be able to prosecute anybody. The move is late in coming. We have inflalion on our backs, and many, among us are working awfully hard to support our own families. We're not going to forget the poor either. We don't want to. Yet neither do we want a situation in which $70,000 worth of food stamps can go to persons who obtain them fraudulently. When that happens, we all lose. For that reason, we hope Munson prosecutes any who have been charged and who can be found. And we houe the stale gets busy with its plans for a "fraud unit." --Arkansas Democrat Not Your Average Seedy Hero Some American folk heroes might not be too popular if they were around loday. Paul Bunyan, for example, might be called a clearcultcr, Daniel Boone a discriminator against Indians, and Buffalo Bill an enemy of endangered wildlife. It's not likely that any contemporary movement would ask them to serve as a symbol for the cause. One possible exception is Johnny Appleseed, born John Chapman 200 years ago in Leominster, Mass., on Sept. 26, 1774. If he were resurrected, Johnny Appleseed might well ba embraced by environmentalists, garden clubbers, defenders of animals and religious fundamentalists alike. Best known for s p r e a d i n g apple orchards across the frontier, he also planted and used medicinal herbs, protected many kinds of wildlife, and preached from the Bible. While olher men were slaking claims to great blocks of land or exploiting natural resources to make their fortunes, Chapman lived simply and altruistically, winning a wide reputation as a kind of border saint. Â·Not much is known of Chapman's boyhood, but shortly before 1800 he appeared in western Pennsylvania carrying backpacks filled with apple seeds and began planting strings of apple nurseries. In advance of many settlers, he ventured weslward into Ohio and Indiana and continued sowing the seeds in every clearing he encountered. One famous tale about Chapman concerns the frontier minister who demanded from his pulpit, "Where is the man who, like the primitive Christian, walks loward heaven barefoot and clad in sackcloth?" Chapman, wearing ragged cut-off trousers, a shirt made of rough sacking with holes cut for his head and arms, and a tin mush pan for a hat, stepped forward saying, "Here is a primitive Christian." Other tales quickly spread about him -- of his quixotic kindness to animals, even insects and snakes that bit him; of his faith in the healing power of various herbs; and of his wide travels to administer horticultural aid lo apple orchards or to exchange apple saplings for old clothes or promissory notes, which he never collected. By such exploits, Johnny Apple- seed earned a warm and affectionate place in American folklore, -(ERR) Rights WASHINGTON (ERR) -What does Gerald R. Ford hava in common with Alexander the Great, Babe Ruth, Rock Hudson, Charlemagne, Pablo Picasso, Benjamin Franklin, Judy Garland, Leonardo da Vinci, Jack the Ripper, the Boston Strangler, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr? The answer is left- handedness. The only other left-handed U.S. president was Ford's idol. Harry S. Truman, according to .lames T. de Kay. "author of The Left-Handed Book (19S6). There might have been some left-handed presidents in tha 18th or 19lh centuries, "but . everyone was forced to become right-handed in those days, and that screwed up left-handers so much that they never could have become president," de Kay told Editorial Research Reports. In many countries -- most notably Germany -- young left- handers are slill forced to switch. But this is a serious disservice, says de Kay, who believes there is something special about southpaws. "Left- Â· banders are different," he wrote in Horizon. "They are m a v e r i c k s . Unpredictable And possibly a little more inter- csting than the other 90 per cent of the population." Lefty Casey Stengel once said: "Left- handers have much -more enthusiasm for life. They sleep on the wrong side of the bed, and their heads become stagnant on that side." Left-handers are clearly discriminated against. Such products as scissors, can openers, guitars, cameras, school desks, power tools and rifles arc made . primarily for the convenience of right-handers. Only recently have special shops for left- handed products opened up, while other stores have left- handed corners. CIVILIZATION D I D not always treat southpaws so shabbily, according to such historians of handeclness as Michael Barsley, author of The Other Hand (1967). In early societies, one theory has it, lefties and righties were almost equally divided, and that's why ancient Egyptian and Greek writing may be read from top to bottom, right to left or back and forth. The Romans mindful that tha Israelites were once defeated by a Benjaminite army of "709 c h o s e n men left-handed." became militant right-handers. The handshake supposedly originated as a way of ensuring that those meeting would not draw their swords -- thus left- handers could not be trusted. The Latin word for right it "dexfer," for left, "sinister." PROFESSOR EMERITUS Bryng Brynbleson of the University of Minnesota, a longtime student ol the Genome- non, concluded that *ties are usually "more creative, more imaginilive" but also more introverted than other people. However, Paul Bakan of aCna- da's Simon Fracer University reported that the percentage of left-handers among male alcoholics is about three times that in the general population. Left- handers also tend to be poor readers and spellers, and make up nearly half of some remedial readin gclasses. A growing number of researchers believe there may be a neurological cause for such aberrations. The brain 13 divided into two lobes, which perform entirely different [unc- tions. The right lobe, which seems to control the left hand, is nonverbal, musical and artistic. The left lobe, which controls the right hand, is verbal, rational and analytic!. ''Therefore left-handers shouldn't be expected to read or spell well, study philosophy and mathematics, or become computer programmers and lawyers," de Kay wrote. "Instead they should gel joos as jay.z musicians, abstract expressionists and baseball players." How about presidents? "Ford doesn't seem to be a typical left-han- der," de Kay mused.