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September 11, 1976 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1976-09-11

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_Page Four


Saturday, September 1 1, 1976


Midwest draught lowers water level on

Mississippi, impeding barge


ST. LOUIS (P) - A prolonged1
drought in the Midwest has
slowed down the long lines of
barges carrying grain and other
products up and down the Mis-
sissippi River.
The Mississippi is at its lowest
level in years, and towboats
pulling strings of barges have to
navigate the river with lighter-
than-normal loads and travel
much more slowly downstream
to miss the shallows and bars.

"THE LOW water right now I James Call, operations manager I to the big grain dealing com- basis and others are month-to-
is adding on a five-day trip I for American River Transporta- panies and have to move the month. You don't figure these
from St. Louis to New Orleans, tion Corp. grain from the elevators to the type of things in . . . You don't
one to two days," said Tom The barges, often lashed to- shipping points including New foresee them."
Gladders, president of a St. gether in strings as much as a Orleans to meet certain sched- When a company cuts the
Louis towing company and quarter of a mile long, carry ules. draft in a barge, it must add
chairman of the American hundreds of thousands of tons At St. Louis alone, where low more boats and barges to carry
Waterways Operators-Corps of water has resulted in the ground- the same load, Bullard noted.
Engineers liasion committee, of grain and other products up ing of a score of barges, the "Say you cut down each 1Marge
i and down the Mississippi. river gauge dipped nearly five on an 18-barge tow six inches.
"ainches below zero this week. If You've got to add a barge for
tonnages to prevent as many MOST GRAIN barge operators the level falls to minus 3.5 feet, every 18 barges," he said.
groundings as possible," said are under long-term contracts ship and barge traffic would be
--- --_ - -forced to stop completely. AMERICAN Commercial, one

Disputed housing study
hows manycode infractiors
By STU McCONNELL but we didn't because we , bor Tenants Union called the
A random phone survey con- couldn't have gotten reliable survey "generally accurate"
ducted by the Michigan Student $ answers," said Teich. Others ! and added that electrical and
Assembly Housing (MSA) Re- contended that even the ans- fire violations are probably
form Project concludes that wers the project got were un- ' even more prevalent than the
nine out of ten non-university reliable. surveyed tenants realized.
student housing units contain "It reflects tenant aware-
violations of the state and city "NINETY PER cent, that's ness of obvious defects," said
housing codes. a ridiculous figure with a sam- i Miller. "There are violations
The poll of tenants in 198 ple like that," said G e o r g e ? in almost all units in the coun-
units revealed that one in ev- Gardner, the city's Director of 3 ty that justify withholding rent."
ery ten apartments showed a Building and Safety Engineer-
deficiency of hot and cold run- ing. "There are about 24,,000 T H E M S A survey placed
ning water, one in seven suf- rental units in this city." some of the blame for code vio-
fered from "leaks, defects, and Gardner, who last December lations on the city Building and
obstructions" in the plumbing told the Mayor's Fair Rental Safety Department. But Teich
system and one in four had Practices Committee that in- conceded that the department
walls "incapable of affording spectors find violations in al- is grossly understaffed.
privacy." most every building, said
"most units have violations, Building and Safety's Gard-
Q U E S T I O N S asked of but not major violations at all." ner stated that the department
tenants were taken almost ver- "We have inspections every has only 11 inspectors to cover
batim from the city and state time we turn around," said Suz- 24,000 units. The average man
housing codes. Tenants were anne Felkis of Maize and Blue can only do about 500 units in
asked, for example, "Does ev- Management. "I can't speak a year," he said.
ery room have a window that for other companies, but based
is easily obenable for ventila- on ours that percentage is
tion?" way out of line."
Saying the survey revealed
"only the most obvious and eas- TEICH defended the survey,
ily ascwertainable" of the code saying it was "as reliable as
violations, project director Paul any can be, if you rely on the "
Teich claimed the results show- honesty of the people surveyed.'
ed a "blatant disregard, or, at It's been my experience that
best, ignorance" on the part of tenants even tended to let the
landlords towards rental unit landlord off easy, especially if ny The Assc
"There were more violations they knew him personally." Aided by a computer, offici
we could have asked about, Robert Miller of the Ann Ar- portation are sifting through hu
_ ___-_. _- ers in an effort to decide how
to nrntert Am irn hA1 tn't

Three Corps of Engineers of the country's largest towing
dredging boats were on round- operations, had eight ooats in-
the-clock operation yesterday; active before the low water con-
from Cairo, Ill., to Cape Girar- ditions on the Mississippi began,
deau, Mo., trying to maintain I Bullard said. "After the low
the maint12-foot deepschannel water, we've fired up e.ery-
between the two points. thing we can run."
On Friday, three American
TOWING FIRMS already are; Commercial tows wire delayed
feeling the economic pinch. by dredging operations norih of
"Instead of loading to nine Memphis and two other tows
feet (draft), we've been loading were delayed by dredging rear
to eight feet. A change in draft St. Louis.
of a foot represents at least 15 Bill Fouts of Mid-America
per cent of our payload," :;aid Transportation Co., w h i c h
William Creelman of National handles towing for Peabody
Marine Service, Inc. "It's caus- Coal, the nation's largest coal
ed a very severe economic ef- producer, said drafts on his
fect." company's boats have been cut
Jack Bullard, marine superin- ! to 7.9 feet from the normal nine
tendent for American Commer-.feet, knocking out 200 tons of
cial Barge Lines of Jefferson- potential cargo.
ville, Ind., said the tow com-
panies - not the grain and oil "IT WILL cost us and even-
and other firms they haul for - tually the coal company too,"
are suffering economic loss be- Fouts said.
cause of the slowdown. Gladders, whose company is
substantially smaller, said it
"WE'LL HAVE to incur it costs as much to move a nine-
ourselves because they don't foot draft barge, "so you're
have time to move it t) the leaving a lot of your profit be-
consumer," Bullard said. "Some hind. The cost won't go down
of the contracts are on a yearly when you reduce your tonnage."

AP Photo
Near-record low depth on the Mississippi River uncover the nine-year old remains of the
River Queen (foreground) near St. Louis. The steamboat-turned restaurant sank in 1967. Mid-
west drought conditions have caused the low river level, which has created problems for
barge traffic on the 1800-mile waterway.


Dept. deluged.

mments about a ira
ociated Press belts - even if the belts are used. They point to the govern-
als at the Department of Trans- ment's own estimate that 12,000 lives could be saved every year
ndreds of letters from consum- if the bags were required. And they argue that if the b-gs were
v far the government should go mandatory, mass production would cut the cost.

Spoe: oPediatrics
and ralir~l ~liti

Lpi uuc mericans wno don t or won't protect themselves.
Atissue is whether automakers should be required to install
a "passive restraint" system such as air bags, providing pro-
tection in accidents without any action by the passengers.

THE DEPARTMENT asked for comment on the issue early
this summer and set next Friday as the deadline. By the start
(Conttnued from Pae) handy during the campaign? of this week, the department had received more than 2,000 let-
this is what changed my whole ters, postcards and other communications - most of them
life, politics and personality. SPOCK: It's given me the ad- from individuals rather than companies or organizations.
vantage of being well-known

DAILY: Can you illustrate
any of these changes?
SPOCK: It made me stop and
rethink my whole political posi-
tion - the Democratic party
is just as imperialistic as the
Republican party and fails. to
meet the needs of the Ameri-
can people just as much as the
The two parties, from my
point of view, are essentially
the same. The American peo-'
ple are confronted each year
by the differences in personali-
ties - McGovern is a different ,
personality than Nixon-but the
country goes along the same, in-
creasing defense department
budgets. Who got us into Viet-
nam? Both parties. Who failed
to give us health insurance?
Both parties.
DAILY: What about President
Ford, and Jimmy Carter?

. Officials said the degree of interest is obviously high, but
DAILY: Do you, in effect mix the number of letters is far from a record. "I'm told that on
pediatrics with your present day! the SST we got 16,000 letters," said one department employe.
politics? A computer is being used to provide a statistical breakdown
young people have said to me on the air bag question: the number of people in favor and
in the past ten years that I against.
can see that having helped raise
a generation of healthy, well THE DEPARTMENT'S employes are trying to figure out
adjusted young people, you don't I why people feel the way they do and what aspects of the situa-
want them murdered in a sense- tion are of greatest concern. All the recommendations and infor-
less war.' mation go to Transportation Secretary William Coleman Jr.,
DAILY: Do you get mail from whose decision on the matter is expected sometime between the
your medical colleagues? fall election and the end of the year.

THE TRANSPORTATION Department held hearings in Wash-
ington last month on air bags. Among those testifying against
were representatives of seven automakers - four domestic and
three foreign, a safety belt trade association and several indi-
vidual consumers. Ralph Nader, several insurance companies,
air bag manufacturers, safety groups and individuals were
among those urging a passive restraint system.
Coleman's ruling will take the form of a decision on what to{
do about FMVSS 208. Translated, that means Federal Motor
Vehicle Safety Standard No. 208.
Coleman has said he is considering five basic options with
the passive restraint issue. They are:
" Require automobile manufacturers to install passive re-
straints in every new car, probably beginning with the 1979
0 Require automobile manufacturers to offer passive re-
straints as an option in some models.
" Conduct a five-year field test of air bags and other
passive restraints before mandating the systems.
" Pass legislation requiring automobile passengers to wear
their lap belts and shoulder harnesses.
* Do nothing.
The chances for a mandatory seat belt use law faded con-j
siderably during the August hearings, as several legislators told
Coleman that Congress would never pass such a law.

Contrab'and birds
smuggled to U.S.
BROWNSVILLE, Tex. (AP) - Smuggling is tra-
ditionally a fly-by-night operation, but smugglers along
the Rio Grande have literally gone to the birds.
Parrots, parakeets and other species of birds with
colorful plumage and vocabulary are being smuggled
into the United States from Mexico "by the thousands,"
report U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officials.
"RIGHT NOW, there's probably as much money
in smuggling birds as there is in narcotics," said C.B.
Williams, a U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector
at the international bridge linking Brownsville with
the Mexican city of Matamoras.
"The most recent case occurred a few weeks ago
when the Border Patrol caught some men attempting
to smuggle about 300 parrots across the river on a
raft," said Williams. "The men are now in jail and
the birds were destroyed."
Williams said yellowheads - parrots with green
plumage and a striking yellow crown - are the most
popular birds because of "their ability to adapt to a
MERCHANTS ALONG THE crowded Matamoros
market square sell the birds for $15 to $100, depend-
ing on their size, age and rarity. Across the border,
the same bird will sell for $200 to $1,500.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture places string-
ent limitations on importing the birds, for fear they
may be carrying a virus deadly to poultry - the
exotic Newcastle disease.
"The last outbreak of this disease in the United
States occurred a couple of years ago in California,"'
said Williams. "The disease affects all types of poul-
try and there is no vaccine. The only way to stamp
it out is to destroy the birds.
"The California outbreak cost the poultry indus-
try about $5 million and the disease was traced to
a smuggled parrot"
Mloslems Chrstin
exNeliange Ibarb

SPOCK: They don't bother to
DAILY: Do mostidoctors dis-
approve of your political stance?
SPOCK: Of course they do. I
opposed the war, and a majori-
ty of doctors, being conserva-
tive, supported it. At the same
time I incurred their disfavor
by supporting Medicare when
a great majority of doctors
----- Y HT :a- nr __AK _lna_

Opponents argue that air bags would boost the price of
automobiles, saying it now costs about $300 for an air bag as
optional equipment on a full-sized car. They say lap and should-

er belts already are available for protection and claim that Coleman has asked consumers to focus comments on three
mandatory air bags would limit consumers' freedom of choice. specific issues:
They also say more tests are needed to determine how effective s Wa suld
0What should be the role of the government in setting mo~
the air bags would be in actual traffic accidents and whether tor vehicle safety standards?
there are enough safeguards to insure that the bags don't inflate
inadvertently. What are the benefits and costs of the alternative safety
systems available?
Supporters of the passive restraint system say that people A Which systems would the public accept?
don't use the seat belts they have and, in effect, need to be pro- Comments, which must be postmarked by midnight, Sept.
tected from their own carelessness or laziness. They also say 16, should be sent to the Secretary of Transportation, Washing-
tests have shown that air bags are more effective than seat ton, D.C. 20590. Mark the envelopes: "FMVSS 208."

SPOCK: They're servants of were very vehemently opposed '
the industrialists rather than to it. So they thought I wasi
servants of the American peo- doubly wrong.t
ple - that's the biggest defici- D
ency. It doesn't matter what DAILY: As a retired doctor,
they say. Each can say what who do you believe is to blame
appeals to him. for the recent revelations of
It appealsh.to Ford to make Medicaid abuse?
silly statements that everything SPOCK: It's the fault of the
will be inflationary except the system. Medicaid should be
defense department budget. Car- provided as a social service
ter makes other statements. for the people, but it's run by
But the course of the country profit. Profit for doctors, profit
is the same, right? for drug firms, profit for hos-
pitals. That's what's basically
DAILY: What do you think wrong, and there'll always be
of the upcoming presidential de- corruption if it's run for profit.
bates, which exclude minority
candidates from participating? DAILY: How do you respondi
to people who tell you that be-
SPOCK: Well, this is absolute- cause you're a minority candi-
ly characteristic of the system. date, your hopes of victory are
The whole political system sup- futile?
ports the Democrats and the SPOCK: I tell them I think thej
Republicans, and the election country will be lost unless we
laws in various states make it get a strong Socialist party and
difficult for an independent par- all our major parties persist.
ty to get on the ballot. The We're sinking more and more
electoral reform bills by which money into arms, pollution is
the government pays shares of not being controlled, medical
the expense don't help us in care has not been provided,
the slightest, as we can't raise poverty still exists.
$100,000 to start with. So we're All our problems are getting
worse off. worse, including unemployment I
DAILY: In how many states of youths. The government of,
does your name appear on the Detroit tries to solve it.(youth-'
ballot? f'il violence) by imposing a cur-
few. That's so childish, it's
SPOCK: About ten. starting on the wrong end. TheI
thing to do is to get jobs for
DAI.: hat kind of social- the youths, that is the way for

BEIRUT, Lebanon 0I - Left-
ist Moslems and right-wing
Christians yesterday accused
each other of bringing in arms
and reinforcements for a show-
down in Lebanon's civil war.
The leftists claimed that two
Jordanian a r m o r e d brigades
with 100 tanks were deployed in
eastern and southern Lebanon
to bolster Syrian intervention
troops for an all-out offensive
to defeat the Moslem leftist-
Palestinian alliance.
party's radio station said Yasir
Arafats' Palestinians recently
received dozens of tons of so--
nhisticated Soviet-made missiles
at the port of Sidon, 25 miles
south of Beirut.
"Arafat has ordered the new
° - atteries set up in the mountain
front but has so far held back
orders to fire them on Christian
towns," the broadcast said.
Neither report could be con-
SYRIA HAS been demanding
..that the Palestinians pull out of

Syria recently has improved
relations with Jordan's King
Hussain, whose elite Bedouin
troops forced Arafat's Palestin-
ians out of Jordan in two rounds
of civil warfare in 1970 and 1971.
T HERE WAS no immediate
Syrian or Jordanian comment
on the claim that Jordanians
had entered the Lebanese fray.
With an estimated 13,000
troops and 500 tanks in Lebanon,
Syria is trying to force the com-
batants into a negotiated settle-
ment. The Syrians also have
launched a diplomatic effort to
oressure the warring factions to
the conference table before
Syrian - backed President-elect
Elias Sarkis takes over from
President Suleiman Franjieh on
Sept. 23.
Moslem and Christian leaders
traveled to Damascus in recent
days for talks with Syrian Presi-
dent Hafez Assad. Former Pres-
ident Camille Chamoun, who
heads the Christians' Tigers
militia, returned from Damascus
1and told reporters that "a mili-

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