The passage of a pollution law often occasions celebration, but a recent incident on Maine's Prestile River (SCORECARD, July 22) demonstrates just how ineffective and vainglorious this legislation can be. The Prestile is being contaminated by a potato processing plant. The Attorney General's office has called the stream "an open sewer," and a health hazard—decaying fish and maggots litter the banks. Yet the only charge the state of Maine can bring against the factory owner is that he is creating a public nuisance. "Our pollution statutes are virtually worthless," Maine's Assistant Attorney General Robert Fuller admitted last week.
In the guise of further pollution control the current legislature has, in effect, given industry an exemption from pollution suits until 1976. In addition, firms established prior to August 1953 have an automatic license to empty their wastes into rivers. Industries built subsequently must obtain a permit from the state to dump material into Maine's waters, but once the permit has been granted it cannot be revoked. The industry has a free hand. "Nowhere in the statutes does it say anything about violating such licenses," Fuller says.
Maine is not the only state with worthless pollution laws. Another example is Michigan. Detroit's pollution cases are tried in traffic court, and fines are minuscule. In Lansing recently a Michigan state commission condemned five communities for pollution. The commission ordered the city of Saginaw to stop discharging inadequately treated sewage into the Saginaw River by June 1, 1971. The other four towns were given more severe deadlines. They were told to comply by 1970.
The whole thing smells, doesn't it?
A substance has been developed that apparently can hop up a racing yacht or rowing shell. The compound, called Poly-Ox, is said to increase the speed of a top-class rowing eight over a regulation 2,000-meter course by as much as 40 seconds. It costs about $24 a race to stimulate a shell with the substance, which acts as a drag reducer. It is carried inside the shell and oozes out steadily through holes in the hull. After tank tests proved the effectiveness of Poly-Ox the secretary of Britain's Amateur Rowing Association declared: "This is merely a method of doping the boats rather than the oarsmen. It must be stopped quickly; otherwise it will be picked up for use in the Olympics."
IN THE CELLAR
When Gene Wiley was signed by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1962, Coach Fred Schaus described him as "the closest thing to Bill Russell to come into the NBA in the past six seasons." Probably the praise of the 6'10" Negro was too lavish, but Wiley did become starting center on the team. When he injured his knee three years ago he was dropped by the Lakers. In a comeback effort last year he failed to make it with the Oakland Oaks of the ABA, and his playing days were over. Since then Wiley—who spent four years at Wichita State in the Missouri Valley Conference—has had trouble getting a job, but he has finally landed steady employment in a position associated with sport: he is a janitor at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif.
GRAY FLANNEL FOOTBALL
Southern Methodist University is trying harder to compete with the Dallas Cowboys for the football dollar. SMU has gone to the Madison Avenue of Dallas and hired the Tracy-Locke agency to run SMU up the flagpole and see if anybody cheers—and pays for season tickets. The ad campaign, which is said to be the first such college effort in football history, will cost $40,000 and will be paid for by a group of downtown businessmen.
The first ad, three-quarters of a page, appeared last week in Dallas sports pages. It was headed: SMU THREW MORE PASSES PER GAME  IN '67 THAN ANY OTHER DALLAS TEAM—AND COMPLETED MORE [18.9] TOO. This was a needle in the pigskin of the Cowboys. In fact, SMU completed more passes (57.2%) than any pro team except the Baltimore Colts (58%). The Cowboys' record: an average of 29.7 passes thrown per game, 15 completed.
Over 300 TV spots, 700 radio pitches and numerous billboard ads will follow with the theme "Excitement '68." Mustang Coach Hayden Fry is even sounding like an adman in his enthusiasm for the campaign, which he calls emphasizing the four E's—exciting, explosive, entertaining and electrifying. Whatever else he accomplishes, Fry should get an "E" for effort.
FLIPPER THE FREELOADER
Four teen-agers from Naples, Fla. were water-skiing in the Gulf of Mexico last month when, about 1,000 yards offshore, they noticed a dolphin following in their wake. They stopped and the dolphin approached the boat, where it accepted some food, then hung around with the youngsters all afternoon.
One of the skiers, 16-year-old Gail Whitney, told her parents about it that evening. Unconvinced, they suggested that she go out again with a camera and bring back some photographs as proof. Gail did, and the pictures turned out fine.
Now the children of Naples are going broke buying frozen mullet to feed their pet dolphin. Their system is simple. One of them brings an automobile horn and toots it under water. The dolphin now recognizes the sound as a dinner horn. Then it's over the side to wrestle with the big mammal (about eight feet), scratch its back and serve its daily dinner.
Since it is so friendly, the presumption has been that the dolphin escaped from an aquarium and, sure enough, a dolphin named Teresa did get loose a while back from Floridaland, a Venice, Fla. porpoise show. Teresa had a scar on her throat. So does the dolphin of Naples. But if Venice wants Teresa back it will have to fight the teen-agers of Naples, and that might be a losing war. To start with, Naples has a formidable navy.
Understandably, perhaps, the fans of the New Orleans Saints are angry that they must give up their No. 1 draft choice this season, Kevin Hardy, and next year's top pick as well, to San Francisco to compensate the 49ers for signing Dave Parks, the star pass receiver who had played out his option. The decision was made by Commissioner Pete Rozelle in accordance with league rules, but the price set on Parks was the highest ever ordered in such a case. The cost of hiring free agents may be going up. If it goes much higher the National Football League might, after all, have found a way to keep its stars from playing out their options and putting themselves on the open market. No team will be able to afford signing them.
Bill Gardner, shortstop for the Copilots in the class A New York-Pennsylvania League, was married recently in a pregame ceremony at home plate in the Newark, N.Y. park. In the game that followed Gardner struck out four times and committed three errors.
In its 74-year history only six foreign golfers have managed to win the U.S. Amateur, but 33-year-old Britisher Michael Bonallack, who has won five major amateur titles abroad this season, one by 19 strokes, is going to give it a try—and all because he went to school. In spite of the fact that he had won two British and four English titles and had played on five Walker Cup and four World Amateur teams, Bonallack decided last winter that he had to change his game. "Everyone I played with," he recalls, "was outdriving me, and the experience was a bit frustrating." So he started taking lessons in Leslie King's Golf School in Lowndes Square in London. King taught Bonallack, long a devotee of the wristy British style of golf, the one-piece swing that is popular in the U.S., and by February Bonallack had dispensed with his flippy follow-through and was keeping his wrists and hands, and thus the club face, square to the target at impact. The new technique added 25 to 35 yards to his drives, and he was hitting straighter than ever. In June Bonallack won the British Amateur at Troon, defeating formidable Joe Carr 7 and 6 in the final round. Last month he took the English Amateur final 12 and 11, shooting a 10-under-par 61 in the morning round. Defeated only once in amateur competition this season, he will be a man worth watching when the U.S. Amateur begins on August 28 at Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio.
In recent seasons kicking has developed into a kind of esoteric art, so abstruse, in fact, that most pro teams have left their kicking specialists to their own devices. "Very few observers can say why a kicked ball goes high, low or to the side," Oakland Coach John Rauch explains. The Raiders, however, believe they may have found a coach with some answers. He is 22-year-old Bugsy Engelberg, who played for East Tennessee State and was an assistant coach last season at Florida State. In his year at Tallahassee, Bugsy (he got his name when he was 2 weeks old and someone said he looked cute as a bug) developed an outstanding kicker, Grant Guthrie, who ranked among the top 10 college players in the country. Guthrie kicked 27 straight extra points and 28 of 29 for the Seminoles during the season.
Rauch is impressed with Engelberg's coaching methods. Bugsy sets volleyball nets between his kickers and the goalposts to force his athletes to loft the ball, and he narrows the width of the goalposts to improve their accuracy. At Florida State he filed down a heel plate—the kind pivoting quarterbacks sometimes use—and placed it on the toe of one kicker's shoe. He also experimented with removing the first three cleats to eliminate the problem of catching them in the turf as the foot comes into the ball. Then, there is an Engelberg invention—a five-foot elastic cord that binds a kicker's foot to a fixed object, restricting the kicking movement in order to build up more strength in the foot. "It's like a batter swinging two bats before going to the plate," the young coach explains.
Finally, Engelberg is working on a book about kicking. He would appear to have enough novel ideas to score well in that field, too.
Professional football isn't the only sport that has had a hot summer of labor-management strife. At the opening of the recent IBM tournament in Amsterdam, several chess players and officials declared that they were being rooked.
Prizes in professional and open tournaments are too low considering the hours, claimed several spokesmen. Dr. Max Euwe, a former world champion who is president of the Dutch Chess Association, protested the bad working conditions of supposedly professional chess in contrast to those enjoyed by amateurs in other sports. Holland's No. 1 tennis amateur, said Euwe, can make $2,200 in a few days. A Dutch chess master does well to make that much in nine tournaments.
The chessmen did not threaten any walkouts or sit-outs, but Euwe urged a prompt international settlement of their complaints. Management might be excused for not wanting to face the world's best chess brains across a bargaining table, but the Amsterdam players sounded determined. "We have always been poor," says Dutch Grandmaster Jan H. Donner. "That's why so many chess professionals are Communists, I think."
THEY SAID IT
•Anna Losasso, Hofstra University art student who has been sketching Joe Namath at Jet practices: "Watching him is like watching Rudolph Valentino doing a tango. His body represents the curved line. In art they call it piety—or religion. He's emanated from nature, and Namath's line is the purest form of art, or something."
•Butch van Breda Kolff, Los Angeles Laker coach, asked what effect the addition of Wilt Chamberlain will have on his team: "We'll have a much better chance of getting rebounds."