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December 6, 1979     The Tuskegee News
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December 6, 1979
 

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PAGE 4 Thurulay, December 6, 1979 THE TUSKEGEE NEWS @ This portion of the paper contains opinions and comments.. Local editorials are signed. Other items which appear are expressions of those whose names appear with the articles and may or may not reflect the o "pmkms of members of the ee tff of The Ttmkegee News. Comments on embjecte of general public interest are welcomed. All letters must be signed by the writer with home address given end should contain no more than 300 words, plus be in good taste and reason. As a general rule no more than one letter from the same individual will be published during the same calendar month. Editorials reflect the opinion of the writer, not this newspaper. Parliamentary procedure is a commonly held way of conducting business in an orderly manner. When someone wants to propose a particular action, he makes a motion--a precise and concise statement of the proposed action. Parficil mts respond to the motion with some form of "yes" or "no" or they "abstain." When one abstains from voting on a motion, he voluntarily refuses to participate in that aspect of the business proceedings. The abstainer has no bearing on the proposed action. The public official's position on public issues is not known when an elected or appointed official chooses to abstain unless, of course, reasons for the abstention are explained. It seems proper for an official to abstain when he believes his ballot might represent a conflict of interest. But if an official believes his ballot might represent a conflict of interest, he ought to excuse himself from the deliberations as well as the balloting. And having deliberated, conflict of interest is no longer a valid excuse for not voting--for abstaining. On another hand, abstention would seem to be proper when an official genuinely believes he needs more evidence on which to base his ballot. Arbitrary abstentions, and abstaining to shield one's position, is an abuse of parliamentary procedure. Take the Richard Coleman case, for instance. During at least three meetings, the Tuskegee City Council deliberated the merits of paying legal fees for Coleman. That was good. We further laud the council for airing differences on the question and deciding to table the matter until more evidenc could be gathered. Throughout the discussions, two central questions prevailed--two extremely relevant questions. Those questions were: was Coleman an officially appointed reserve police officer when the case resulting in need for legal fees arose, and was Coleman officially called to reserve duty by someone authorized to do so? Those two questions were answered. If there were others, they were not raised. A fingerprinted identification card and an affidavit from the former police chief seems to be solid evidence of Coleman's status as a reserve officer. And the second question was also answered. No, Coleman had not been officially called to duty. By his own account, Coleman voluntarily offered his assistance after learning of a crime regular police were investigating. It also matters that there was no evidence of the need for a reserve officer, but there was also no evidence either that departmental policy required official call to duty. The central questions were answered. There were two abstentions, neither with explanation, and both without warrant. The public responsibility of public officials is not fulfilled by only raising deserving questions. The public needs to know the position of its representatives, a responsibility best fulfflled by proper use of the ballot. And while we make no apologies for tl e extended context and the specific example here, it is a fact that abstention is abused by school board members and county commissioners. It is in the public interest for public officials to reevaluate their use of abstentions in the parliamentary procedure. --J. J. JOHNSON IH ng By EDWARD JOHNSTON Tuskegee Citizen Ever since the beginning of time man knowing that tomorrow was not promised Io him has invested his interest in something~Whe- ther it was material or immalerial. The practice of "invest- ing" is universal, though it is not new to us we in this area have not been great advocators of it. Investment comes in many forms to name a few--the purchase of stocks, bonds, real estate, constructional development, and corps. The list goes on and on. At present, our society is threatened with a repeated recession, double digit inflation and a double-faced dollar. With a fluctuating economy we are encouraged to save our earninga because that is considered a sound investment. With the decreasing value of the dollar the interest on our savings is fighting a tough battle. We are not at a point, and time where we're encouraged to go a step further and invest our savings or a fraction thereof. Investment fortifies the spending dollar. "Investing," the old road to new marginal returns. 'Invest in real estate because it is finite and the supply will not always be there to meet the demand. Invest in construction whether com- mercial or residential be- cause they're both essential for a community to progress. Invest in corps so t~at the financial weight doesn't rest on one person or group. The majority of all investments should be deposited in our immediate environment since we are a product of it. Investing something old yet something new. A Hollywood scriptwriter c-uldn't have done it better. In fact it often seemed to be a movie instead of real" life. Circuit Court last week was simply unbelievable. It began with a weird trial involving religious rituals and chants and accusations of vampirism, and ended with a police detective found innocent in a trial in which accusation of police involved in drug traffic surfaced. In between were some comparatively routine trials--one for armed robbery and one for sodomy. I didn't intend to use this space two weeks in a row for discussions of courts and trials, but then I didn't expect a week like the one held. Ripley would have loved it, and he may not have believed it. This is not intended as a put-down or meant to ridicule. It just happened to be a remarkable, newsworthy, fascinating week, a study in the extraordinary aspects of the judicial system. "There is no such thing as justice--in or out of court.," Clarence Darrow said once, probably after his client Scopes was found guilty of teaching evolution in a Tennessee classroom. Well this is not meant as criticism of the courts of a cry of injustice. I learned my lesson once after I criticized a jury decision in rhe [ abomo _ perative Exten.Cion Service COPE By ELMER DOWDELL JR. County Agent-Coordinator PORK INDUSTRY CONFERENCE--Macon County swine producers are invited to attend the biggest swine meeting of the year. Next week December 13-14, Alabama hog producers will meet on the Auburn University campus to learn about present and future trends of the swine induslry, as well as the role of swine producers. Orville Sweet of Des Moines, Iowa, executive vice president of the National Prok Producers Council, will be the special speaker at the meeting. Other featured speakers include Dr. T. D. Tanksley, Texas A&M University; Dr. Jerry Kunesh, Iowa State University and Dr. John Diehl, Tuskegee Institute. Specialists from the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service and researchers from Auburn University's Agricultural Experiment Station and School of Agriculture will also be participating in the conference. The meetings will be held at Haley Center on the Auburn campus. No registration fee will be charged for the conference. For further information, call Elmer Dowdell at 727-0340 or come by our office at 191 East Oak Street. STORAGE FACILITIES--Macon County farmers who need storage facilities can get commodity credit coproration h)ans to build or remodel them. In the past, loans were available only for building new facilities. This can benefit dairymen and cattlemen in Macon County who need a place to store grass silage. Grain producers can also gain from this loan, since they can change storage bins to increase capacity and efficiency. If you are eligible for a loan, you may borrow up to 85 percent of the cost of buying and installing storage bins and dryin~ equipment. Under the new regulations, the limit has been raised form $25,000 to $50,000. FERTILIZER SHORTAGE--Higher fertilizer prices plus shortages by next spring. That's the word this week from our soil specialist at Auburn, Dr. Raymond Hoyum. He says that our bumper soybean and grain crops this year could make railroad hopper cars scarce next spring. As a result, farmers who wait until the last minute to soil test will not only pay higher prices for fertilizer but may also be unable to buy the fertilizer they need. Because of these rising prices and potential fertilizer shorlages, planning ahead will be time well spent this year. I strongly recommend soil testing as soon as you finish harvesting. PLANTING PEACH TREES--I've heard several people throughout Macon County say that they would like to plant peach trees this fall or winter. If you would like to plant peach trees, select the varieties carefully. It's possible to have peaches ripening over a longer time by selecting a combination of varieties. Some peach varieties ripen as early as May while others ripen as late as August. Location is important when choosing peach varieties. Only low-chilling peaches are adapted to South Alabama, while higher chillers are needed in Central and North Alabama. Therefore, varieties such as Dixired, Candor, and Redhaven should be planted in Macon County. CHAINSAW SAFETY--Many people in Macon County are preparing for the winter by cutting wood for their fireplaces and wood burning stoves. If you are planning to cut your own with a chainsaw, remember these safety tips. Always put the saw on the ground and brace it by putting your foot on the handle before pulling the starter cord. Never hold it in one hand and snatch the cord with the other--a lot of accidents happen this way. concerns, By CELIA DARDEN prevail wflh conflicls of Chairperson imeresl such as Ihis? We Ihe cilizens are The Concerned Cflizens concerned Ihat our tax for Macon County Hospital d,dlars are being given to a organization is a citizens prival~ hospilal instead of group of people who show a 1he public and county common concern for reopen- hospilal. ing the Macon County We 1he cflizens are Hospital. concerned that the County Commissioners did remove We are concerned as to from Ihe Macon County where our tax dollars are Hospilal Board, three mem- going ~hal were designated bers before expiration of and approved by ...~he iheir lerms. No notice was legislature for the main(bn- given, nor reasons for Iheir ance, operation and support removal. This is illegal. of Macon County Hospital. We 1he citizens want to This money has been know if Macon County already collected in taxes Hospital has a legal board. and it is our money. Can such a board legally Therefore, we have a right liquidate our hospital? The Io know. board has not met with a We citizens are concerned quorum present for a about the poor people scheduled board meeting in having the right to go to the more than five months. hospital ' of their choice, We I he concerned citizens which is Macon County warn an attorney who will Hospital. help us find the answers. We We, the citizens are are ready Io give efforts, concerned that our coumy, ~ime and money to correc~ city and Tuskegee Institute the condition. We respect as well as the Macon County and honor all citizens who Hospital, all have the same are concerned and interes- allorney. How can justice *ed in Ihe same. i Stan Voh News Publisher p: another case. I had listened to the same testimony as the jurors, and I thought the defendant guilty. The jury found him innocent. I wrote an editorial which took issue with the jury verdict, and regretted it later. If we are going to have confidence and faith in our judicial system, then you have to show support for a jury verdict, even if you think it was wrong. There was much talk of the jury's verdict in the case of the five people charged with setting fire to a man. The five were on trial for assault with intent to murder, a felony. They were found guilty of assault and battery, a misdemeanor. The jury fined the five $499, the maximum allowed. The judge, Jim Avary, sentenced all five to six months in the county jail, the maximum allowed. Citizens seemed concerned that the jury reduced the charge. One juror reportedly said the group was influenced by the &year-old child of one of the defendants, who sat in her mother's lap until the state objected. The juror said the jury was concerned about Who would care for the child should the mother and her companions be found guilty. The trial brought out the bizarre behavior at 100 Johnson St.., site of what is known as the Fire Temple or the Homa Therapy Center. It is there that yoga classes are held, and ritualistic burnings are conducted. A big pot is filled with such items as cow manure and burned for air purification. There is chanting which accompanies the burnings. The state tried to show that the burn victim was burned because he was a bad influence on one of the defendants and was a kind of devil. The orders allegedly came from an Elwood Taylor of Jackson, Miss., a man described by one of the defendants as a spiritual leader and advisor. To top all of that off, one of the defendants wrote a letter to the chief deputy sheriff accusing the burn victim of being a vampire. Not your routine assault trial, now was it? The week ended with the fascinating trial of police detective Marvin Brooks, a man whom police officials twice have tried to fire, and a man who twice has avoided dismissal. This time he was accused of taking two pairs of shoes from Campus Bootery during a burglary investigation. The Police Review Board had found him guilty of conduct unbecoming an officer, and recommended he be fire. The City Council--or at least the three members who had the courage to appear--voted to reinstate him following a lengthy hearing. Still, Brooks was indicted and tried. And found innocent. And there is talk he may be indicted next spring on burglary charges in connection with the same ,offense. Could this prosecution of Brooks have anything to do with the testimony he gave to the attorney general's office earlier this year in which he named Detective Otto Moore and former Police Chief Herbert Sears Jr. as being drug trafficking? Moore is his former good friend partner. The deposition and its allegations came the trial. Brooks names two high-ranking police officials says are involved in drug trafficking, and Brooks is on~ One wonders if the detective's allegations and investigated as intensely by the district was the grand larceny case against Brooks. Does the system work? Only as well as the involved in it. Juries can't be bullied into guilty, nor can they be expected to turn regardless of the evidence. Lay people our juries here want to do what is go free, and prosecutors presumably want to send jail. It's a verbal tug of war sometimes, a battle rhetoric. It was a fascinating week in Circuit Court, to be relocated. Bits and pieces ....... Rumors fly that Haywood Scissum won't Tuskegee Institute coach next season. At the Whitney Van Cleve has resigned as Albany State's right after a 1-9-1 season. He coached for nine years one wants to make any connection between security and Van Cleve's availability, go to it. up any money ....... The Southern Christian Conference says it will begin youth chapters state, at high schools and colleges, trying to reach the who may have forgotten, or not lived through, rights struggles of the 1950s. SCLC has an adult here ....... Two-hour parking will be enforced on Square once again, at the request of some of the who are concerned about store employees who in spaces which might otherwise go to Unfortunately many of the places this week are ~ood-stamp recipients, a first-of-the-month problem. they ever going to start building the new P&S Eastside Street, Tuskegee, Ala. Established 1865-Published Every Thursday i The Tuskegee News is published Tuskegee Newspapers Inc., Eastside Tuskegee, Ala. Second class postage paid at Subscription rates are $6.50 in the city, $7.00 in county and $9.00 elsewhere, payable in advance. news articles and advertisements should be into News office by noon Tuesday before publication, STAN VOLT, President and Publisher CATHERINE BOWENS, Office Manager JOHN WARE, Newspaper Distributor MARIE LORETAN, Tvoeeetter . Rate changes weekly. Rate fixed after purchase. 8% 8-year 1,000.00 Certificates 73/4% 6-year 1,000.00 Certificates 7t/2% 4-year 1,000.00 Certificates 6V2% 2-year 1,000.00 Certificates 6% 1-year 1,000.00 Certificates 53/4% 6 months 500.00 Passbook 51/2% Regular (5.00) Passbook %* 6 Months Money Market 10,000.00 Certificates SAVINGS G LOAN ASSOCIATION ESTABLISHED 1894 505 OLD MONTGOMERY ROAD TUSKEGEE INSTITUTE TELEPHONE (205)727-2560 MEMBER FSLIC "Rate changes weekly and is constant after purchase, Ftederal Law requires that a penalty be charged for early withdrawals of certificates of deposit.