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Editorial-Opinion Page The Public Interest I* The First Concern Of This Nctospoper A Â« WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 30, 1974 Boondoggling With Rail Rate Structures The PSC Holds Up Under Fire The state Public Service Commission is .much in the news of recent. The PSC has provided the arena for protracted debates about utility advertising regulations; atomic power generation; a mammoth coal-fired power generating plant in central Arkansas; a coal-fired generator in Northwest Arkansas; and in recent days an application for a multi-million dollar rate increase by Arkansas Power and Light. Through it all, lot us say, we are impressed with the stamina, the purposefulness, the acumen and the relative "cool" displayed by the Commission and its staff. We find ourselves as dismayed by the PSC's position on the advertising matter as the utilities in question occasionally are in fighting for approval of construction and opera- Â· tional permits. But we likewise admire the Commission's conscientiousness and obvious capacity for resisting outside pressure. We are particularly encouraged that the Commission chooses to protect air and water qualities, at least until persuaded of a higher good. There is much to commend in the Commission's seeking a middleground in the Redfield plant application in which it granted permits for only two of four requested generating units, but found for the company on the matter of "scrubbers." We anticipate the same cautiously, carefully conceived response to Southwest Electric Power Company's Little Flint Creek application. We rather anticipate, too, a suggestion one of these days from the PSC as to a package of regulations including not only advertising controls (again), but rate restructuring designed to flatten out peak- load curves. Meanwhile, rates are certain to increase, and that's just one more tough matter the PSC must deal with in the months ahead. It is of some comfort to the state, we believe, that the Commission dealing with such difficult problems is both capable and respected. Louisiana Purchase Monument In Jeopardy The late John Fleming was particularly proud of having helped some years ago in re-establishing, as a significant state historical attraction, the monument marking the. point from which most of the Louisiana Purchase was surveyed. Mr. Fleming was an Arkansas journalistic colleague at the time, and we shared his pride in digging out the story and doing something with it. When the monument site was cleared of undergrowth and opened to the public we took the occasion to congratulate him editorially. Now the news is that the monument, located in wetlands at the intersection of Phillips, Monroe and Lee Counties in eastern Arkansas, has been allowed to sink back toward the oblivion of non-maintenance and disregard. The problem, apparently, is part local and part state. We, in this corner of the state, have little cause to be overly concerned, probably. We can say, though, that if the marker was an asset of Northwest Arkansas', you could bet the whole bundle that enough local concern would be generated to keep it open, advertised, and occasionally cleaned up. It seems to us that the state Parks and Travel people ought to be obliged to acquire the site (the 40 acres or so are valued at about ?135 per) and take care of it. This is particularly true in view of the fact that the same bunch of tourist attraction promoters is straining at the bit to acquire a barn- ful of autps from the Winthrop Rockefeller estate, an item much less historically notable, surely. From The Readers Viewpoint No Axes ' To the Editor: In all the understandable cynicism generated by the events surrounding Watergate, it is encouraging to see that , Fayelteville has fielded a generally promising slate of new candidates for City Board positions. Two qualifications for these positions s e e m particularly important: (1) an informed, objective, managerial approach to the problems of city government, and (2) freedom from "conflict of interest" affiliations. Too often candidates are tapped by the various powers- that-be and advertised as president of this group and leader of that, as if those achievements guaranteed efficient, impartial city government. From Our Files; How Time Fiiesl 10 YEARS AGO The eighth annual Legislative -Weekends, sponsored by the ^University and the Chamber of Commerce will be held Nov. 6 and 7. ; An exhibit of skydiving will ibe held here Sunday with members of the Razorback Sky so VEARS AGO ! Arkansas yields from grapes will be higher than in any other grapebelt in the Union except, perhaps, Michigan. Eighy-five new members will be initialed into the University's YWCA TOO YEARS AGO A small boy riding a cockeyed mule followed by a crooked-leg dog was the only item of interest that could be gathered on the street Wed- Divers Club jumping from elevations exceeding 7.200 feet. Robert T. Medley of Fayetteville and Harvey J. McCloud of Huntsville have been named crew leaders for the 1974 Census of Agriculture. tonight when a candle service will he held in the chapel. Two subscribers swelled the Democratic campaign fund today with their one dollar donations. nesday. Capt. Sam Marrs, one of our dearest old friends, has the thanks of pur office for a half bushel of fine apples. They'll Do It Every Time Hex, YOU GUVS? MY Cf?APÂ£R AMD AW 600P 6W6R BRUSH? CAU/6M BACK, (?6VÂ£ReNPÂ» John Torid, running for Position 2. from Ward 2, has both a wide background in professional management and also absolutely no axes to grind. I think this combination in a candidate deserves consideration by voters. Betty B. Williams Fayetteville Checking It To the Editor: I have read the letter signed by Mary IÂ«arson which appeared in the Thursday, October 24, 1974, edition of the Northwest Arkansas TIMES and am so disgusted with the false and. malicious rumors that are being deliberately circulated in what appears to be a desperate effort to defeat Bill Murray in the County Sheriff's race, that I feel compelled to put the record straight. Ms. Larson makes a number of false and grossly inaccurate accusations against Bill Murray, including the implication that he is still in the private security business, and is somehow connected with the bonding business. I have made.a conscientious effort to c h e c k out both his qualifications and those of his opponent, including the actual checking of public records and making inquiry of authoritative sources of information, and I can tell you that Bill Murray has not in any fashion misrepresented either his training or his qualifications. He does have three years of college education. He did attend the training course at the Arkansas Law Enforcement Academy at Camdcn, Arkansas, for the required period of time and graduated. He has absolutely no interest in the private security organization with which he was formerly associated, having sold his interest io his former partner, although it is true that Bill Murray's name is still on the note which was originally made to obtain a loan for the business when he was associated with it. Bill Murray is not in any way connected with any bail bond business. It is true, as he frankly admitted in his advertising during the primary campaigns, that he once was employed by an organization.which provided, among other services, bail bonds, but he severed connections with that organization long before he ever decided to become a candidate for county sheriff. What Ms. Larson cloos not tell you (or perhaps did not take the time and effort to discover) is that Bill Murray's Republican opponent was employed by the same organization for a period of time, the first portion of which was while he was supposed to be working for the Fayetteville Police Department -- all of this, of course, unknown at the lime, to the chief of police. I have in front of me a photo- italic copy of a letter recently (CONTINUED ON PAGE SIX) By JACK ANDERSON WASHINGTON -- Twelve little words, which the White House has slipped into a railroad reform measure, could cost the taxpayers a whopping $i'50 million n year. That comes close to $21 million a word. The costly, 12-word clause is buried in an nnl.bed of print, w h e r e Congressmen aren't supposed to notice it. It appears as a simple, 12-word adjustment of government rail freight rates, a seemingly insignificant clause in a massive, highly technical railroad bill. At present, the Interstate Commerce Act authorizes low relcs for government shipments. The cheap rales were worked out years ago to repay the government for giving the railroads perpetual rights-of- way on government land. The 12 words simply state that the low rates would apply only in time of war. This would cost the taxpayers $242 millon a year in Pentagon shipments alone, not to mention well over $7 million for non - military goods. The Nixon Administration was responsible for snookering this 5250 million clause onto page 98 of the 106-page railroad measure. But President Ford's people have been alerted to the 12-word giveaway by the Penla- . GOTI. which is caught in an inflationary squeeze and can't afford to pay $242 million more a year in freight charges. Yet the White House, despit* The Washington Merry-Go-Round Ford's appeal to reduce government spending, is still trying to slip the $250 million clause through Congress. The boondoggle is described in secret official correspondence and a confidential G e n e r a l Accounting Office report, which we have uncovered as part of our watch on waste. The GAO report claims that the rails carried at least 5.3 billion tons of government goods during Â· a seven-month survey. The payout from the U.S. Treasury was $80.8 million under the existing low rales. As evidence this was no hardship upon the railroads, t h e GAO alleges it cost the railroads only $37.2 million to deliver the government shipments. Even this figure was jiggered up slightly by the railroads, the GAO suggests. In other words, even under the low rates, the railroads salted away a generous $43.6 million profit. But if the new White House rates had been used, the same shipments would have cost the taxpayers $185.4 million and the railraods would have wound up with a staggering $149.2 million profit. The giveaway clause was disc o v e r e d b y cost-conscious Deputy Defense Secretary Bill Clements, who wrote a panicky "Dear Roy" letter to White House budget boss Roy Ash. Clements said the White House rales would cost the Pentagon $242 million in the first year and would soar to $1 billion during the first five years. A few weeks later, tho General Services Administration (GSA) learned of the hidden rate change. Acting Administrator Dwight .Ink also wrote privately to Ash of his "deep concern" at the S7 million or more it would cost other government departments. Our informants tell us trial the White House instructed both the- Defense Department and GSA to "cool it." Their orders are to keep quiet about the hidden clause.. In other words, the White House, still hopes to pull a sleeper play on Congress in an attempt to oenefit the railroads' $250 million a year. This quar- tcr-of-a-billion boondoggle rides on 12 key words, which Congressmen can f i n d under the innocuous title "H.R. 53B5." - WASHINGTON WHIRL: Heed Ing President Ford's call for a cutback on federal spending, Health, Education and Welfare Secretary Caspar Weinberger lias been slashing his budget in all the wrong places. His most recent call for austerity could result in the needless deaths of hundreds of children. He has come put against the Camp Safety bill, which would force safety standards on sum- //I I Get Economic Reports Regularly In My Grocery Bag" -L J CHECK-OUT PASS-OUT COUNTER State Of Affairs Looking For Signs On Election Eve By CLAYTON FRITCHEY WASHINGTON -- If the Democrats win as big as expected in the elections next week, the victory may signify a revival (especially in the most populous states) of the winning ccalition that kept the New Deal in power for so long. The political pros are convinced that much of the urban ethnic vote, predominantly Catholic, is drifting back to the Democratic fold after a mass defection in the last two presidential campaigns. If that is so, it will he a major factor not only this year but in 1976 as well. In the coalition put together so successfully by thai political genius, Franklin D. Roosevelt, perhaps Ihe single most powerful element was the Catholic vote in the big industrial stales and the key metropolitan cities and counties of the nation. In New -York today, the Democratic leaders are euphorically anticipating a landslide victory for a ticket headed by Rep. Hugh Casey, an Irish Catholic, for governor and state Sen. Mary Anne Krupsak, a Polish Catholic, for lieutenant governor. The late F.D.R. could hardly have balanced the ticket more skillfully himself, for the choices for attorney general and state comptroller are respected Jewish officials, and the nominee for the U.S. Senate is former Atty. Gen. Ramsey Clark, an Anglo-Saxon Protestant. It's a combination that also will attract black -support, and one that is almost certain to put the first Democrat in the governor's mansion since Averell Haniman won in IDS'l. Carey would also be the first Catholic elected governor of New York since Al Smith almost 50 years a'go. IN THE NATION'S largest slate, California, all the polls show another R o m a n Catholic, Secretary of S t a t e Edmund B r o w n Jr., on the way to a sweeping victory. Young Brown, son of the former governor, Edmund G. P a t Brown, is only a few years out of a Jesuit seminary. In Ohio, the fifth biggest state, still another popular Catholic. Gov. John J. Gilligan, is running for re-election a,nd is favored to \vin. Two other populous industrial states. Con- neclicul and Massachusetts, now controlled by Republicans, appear headed for a change. The Democratic candidates are Rcu. Ella Grasso (Conn.) and Mike Dukakis (Mass.). B o t h are Roman Catholics, New Jersey has aready been recaptured for t h c'Democrats by Gov. Brendan Byrne, a Catholic who won last fall in a two-to-one landslide and will be running the state through the 1376 presidential election. In Illinois, Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago and Cook County remains the unchallenged boss of the most powerful Catholic- dominated machine in the country. Some of these figures, notably Carey and Brown, could develop presidential ambitions of their own if they win big enough, but since they wouldn't take office until next year it is not likely that they would take instant aim on the White House. But if they all should be elected, they will be in a position to exert enormous influence at the national convention in 1376 which will choose the next D e m o c r a t i c presidential nominee. ONE OK THE most important things they have in common is that they all could be described as Kennedy-type liberals, which means tbeir support would doubtless go to the presidential candidate who inherits the large following of Sen. Edward Kenn e d y o f Massachusetls, assuming it goes to any one man. Obviously, this lessens the chances of a conservative Democrat or a demagogue like Gov. George Wallace winning the nomination. Two years ago. after Richard Nixon won 49 out of 50 states, the chances of a Democratic comeback in 197 6 seemed awfully slim. Party leaders agreed it could not he clone without winning back either the dissident South or the dissident North, or some of both. The prospects of recapturing the South as a whole in the near future are still not bright, and a few months ago it was generally felt that the CaUiolic defection could be overcome only by the nomination of Ted Kennedy, which would have alienated many other voters. Now, however, the revival of Catholic leadership a', the state and local level is rapidly putting the old coalition back in business, aided a n d . abetted by Watergate, recession and infation. (C) 1974, Los Angeles Times Bible Verse "I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine." John 10:14 There is a knowing that makes the going great, and everyone can have it. "So shall thy barns bo filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine." Proverbs 3:10 God is not controlled by h u m a n circumstances, nor by current economy trends. Stand provide. "My God shall supply all your need according to Hii riches in glory by Christ Jtsus,* mcr ciuiips..A confidential Federal Energy Administration paper estimates thai pollution Â·; causes $0 billion damage to Â· ertallh each year. "Air pollution causes cough, throat discomfort, eye irritation,' shortness of breath, respiratory disease, asthma alUicks. chronic bronchitis, emphysema, cnrdiurcspiru- ' lory disorders, excess mortality and lung cancer," claims the study. Lung cancer alone, it ill- leges, is up 10 to 20 fold since 1930. Every time air pollution increases 10 per cent, the death rate goes up almost 1 per cent.Jn its customary dry style, the Food and Drug Administration announced in a recent recall report 'the seizure of a . large shipment of prophylactics . in Kansas, charging that the "product contains h o l e s." An :. FDA spolesman explained to us that they were less concerned about the ineffectiveness of the Â·Â· contraception devices than the potential of spreading . social diseases..Although federal law prohibits the government from assigning its employes to work - for'privale enterprise, Interior " 1 Secretary Rogers Morton seems ;. to be allowing j u s t that. We ' recently reported that Yosemite Park rangers have been used by Universal Studios in connection with a film in the park. Congressmen Henry Reuss, D-Wis., Â· and John Dingell, D-Mich., have Â· now informed Morion in a private letter that the rangers may unwittingly be violating the law..The General Services . Administration's new federal Â·Â·; information center is already" riddled With time-card faking, favoritism on work hours and fraudulent promotion. At least three bosses at the center ara '" under investigation for their unethical practices. --United Feature Syndicate No Good Way To Be Independent WASHINGTON (ERR) -i Project Independence, as outlined almost a year a g o by President Nixon, might better Â·_ have been labeled Mission Impossible. In a nationwide television address oti Nov. 7,. 1973, Nixon proposed thai the United Slales try to achieve self-sufficiency in energy supplies by 1980. His speech came' shortly after Arab countries ; imposed an embargo on oil shipments to the United Slates . and the Netherlands. Nixon note dthat this country., possesses one-half of the world's known coal reserves. "Huge untapped sources of natural gas," oil in the continental shelf and oil shale in western deposits, as well as "the mosl advanced nuclear technology known to man" and "some of Â· the finest technical and scientific m i n d s in the world." In. short, he added, "we have all the resources we need to meet Â· the great challenges before us. Now we must demonstrate Ule will to meet that challenge." The will to meet the challenge may exist, but is there a way? . Apparently not. according to the Federal Energy Administration's draft report on Pro- Â· ject Independence, t h e f i n a l version of which is scheduled to be submitted to President Ford Nov. 1. The report's main conclusion is that the United States will continue to depend on imports to meet its oil needs because it lacks sufficient domestic reserves. In addition, the report ruled out coal as an oil substitute on the ground that it is too d i f f i c u l t -' to mine and burn. Nuclear power was described as a substitute for coal, not oil and such alternative energy sources as synthetic fuel, solar heat and geothermal power were seen as contributing virtually nothing-. to the nation's needs for at least- 10 years. EXPANSION OF t h e U.S. ; energy industry over the next-!' decade will involve enormous ~~ sums of money. "Petroleum :. companies say that their inle-'. rests in oil, gas. coal, and new ,,' nuclear fuels plus a start o n . , new synthetic fuel production will require $250 billion for capital expenditures through r ' 1985," Business Week reported. "Natural gas companies say * they will need up to ?200 billion" for the same purpose over the ~next 10 years. And coal producers say that reaching their 1985 production goals will cost $21 billion." Even if it' were attainable, self-sufficiency in energy might be undesirable. Michael i\Ic- Closkey, executive director of the Sierra Club, told a Federal Energy Administration hear- Â· ing in Denver Aug. 9 that "A ' rapid shift to total independence could severely disrupt world trade and undermine the sale of United States goods aborad, as the cost is raised by high United States energy prices." IT WOULD BE unrealistic, Â·Â· too, to expect the A r a b ' oil producers to sit idly by while the U n i t e d States ; engaged in a crash pro- .' gram to develop new energy _sources. The Arab countries might well decide to cut the price of crude in an effort to thwart any U.S. drive toward self-sufficiency. The prospect, then, is for continued U.S. dependence on for- . eign sources of oil and. of a host of other basic raw materials. The old dream of autarky -- complete economic self-sufficiency -- is further from realization today than it ever was. Although divided politically, the world is moving toward a sort of involuntary economic unity Thus, a fitting title [or any future study of U.S. energy needs might be Project In- terdepandence.