An extraordinary session of the Washington State legislature was called recently by conservation-minded Governor Dan Evans to consider seven pieces of legislation related to environmental control. Oil, real estate, mining groups and some local officials vigorously objected to the measures, and the legislature reacted predictably: using such devices as contradictory proposals, compromise, tabling, watering down and complete disemboweling, it effectively neutralized the entire program. Legislator Duane Berentson said, "We are being lobbied too hard by these long-hairs, these so-called environmentalists." State Senator Perry Woodall added, "There wasn't an environmental bill that couldn't have waited until 1971."
Conservationists were stunned and disheartened, but Governor Evans counterpunched. "T don't think people realize yet that there is a crisis," he said. "They still think it's a problem for bird watchers." He went on television and appealed for help, asking the citizens of the state to let the legislature know their feelings on the conservation measures. The response was immediate and overwhelming. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer supported the governor, and phone calls and telegrams poured into the state capital. Some legislators were furious, but slowly most of the measures broke free and struggled back to life. When it was all over, the score was five to two, favor of the governor. Passed were a strong bill on oil spills, another on evaluating sites before building nuclear-power plants, a third giving tax relief for open-space land, a fourth controlling strip mining (though not as stringently as the governor wanted) and a fifth creating a state department of ecology. Only a scenic river and shoreline inventory measure and a seacoast management bill didn't make it, and chances were both would go through in the next session. All in all, it was a signal victory for responsible conservation—and for the democratic process. As William Lloyd Garrison said more than a century ago, "I will be heard."
Guess who was the leading hitter in the Sonora-Sinaloa winter league in Mexico this winter? Orestes (Minnie) Minoso, age 47, batting average .367.
Brigham Young University's beleaguered basketball team, harassed all season by anti-Mormon demonstrations, was subjected to another bad time before its game with the University of New Mexico last Saturday night at Albuquerque (BYU lost, for the 17th time this year, 82-68). The night before the game, bricks and cinder blocks marked BYU were thrown through windows into the homes of several members of the New Mexico athletic department. At the game the trouble started during the flag ceremony. A voice shouted, "Freedom!" and another in the crowd responded, "You've got it." Some students raised clenched fists. Eggs and dog biscuits were tossed from one part of the crowd onto the court, followed by balloons filled with kerosene that splattered BYU's end of the floor. Shouts of "Out, out!" came from spectators who pointed to those who had thrown things, but campus police ignored the plea and instead calmed the booing crowd, while two dozen state police stayed offstage in a runway from the dressing rooms. As janitors and officials cleaned up the mess, the New Mexico players invited BYU to warm up with them at their end of the court. The crowd cheered. After a 40-minute delay the floor was finally ready and, as both state and campus police took up positions in the unruly sector, the game began. A student tossed a policeman's hat onto the court and one more egg was thrown, but otherwise there were no more incidents—except that after four minutes of play about three dozen students from the policed area, almost all of them white, got up and walked out of the arena.
No arrests were made. A university official said, "We wanted to prevent violence, and I am delighted with the mature way in which the crowd waited and let the police do their job." Neither the university nor the police would put the onus for the disturbances on the Black Student Union, which said its planned demonstration never got started, and student leaders were inclined to blame whites, either radicals or yahoos, who, they said, wanted to stir up trouble.
Late in a tense basketball game between Central Washington State and arch-rival Western Washington, things suddenly erupted into an old-fashioned, non-political brawl. Asked about his role in the fight, Western's NAIA All-America candidate Mike Clayton said, "I kept circling and ducking punches. Then I saw Dave Allen [Central's outstanding guard] doing the same thing, so we kind of went up to each other and looked mean until it was over. He seemed like a pretty nice guy."
FIGHT CITY HALL
You can't say the Government isn't alert. A zoo in Folsom, Calif. was given a bear that veterinarians had nursed back to health after it had been badly burned in a forest fire. With no great originality but with a sense of the appropriate, the zoo named the bear Smokey. Well, sir, people in Washington heard of this and leaped into action. They told the Folsom zoo that the name Smokey Bear belonged to a bear in the Washington zoo who worked for the Government ($18 million in public-service advertising was given over to Smokey Bear messages last year), and that the Folsom bear's name would have to be changed.
"This is terrible, what the Government is doing to us," cried Mayor Jack Kipp of Folsom. "They take all our money and now this. We'll fight all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary." California State Assemblyman George W. Milias, chairman of the Committee on Natural Resources and Conservation, commented, "It is certainly encouraging that the Federal Government is on the job protecting the public against such flagrant flouting of Federal authority."
Such scathing sarcasm was lost on Mai Hardy, chief of the Department of Agriculture's branch of Cooperative Fire Prevention and director of the Smokey Bear campaign. He said he was prepared to force the issue, if necessary, and pointed out that a 1952 Act of Congress sanctions the Real McCoy Smokey. The only legitimate Smokey Bear is the one in Washington, he said, and added, "Millions of American children would be confused by the existence of two Smokeys."
Assemblyman Milias argued, "What could be more natural than calling a bear Smokey? There has been a significant impact on children visiting the Folsom zoo who actually see the disastrous result of a forest fire on animal wildlife. That was the basic reason for the original Smokey Bear—to warn people against the carelessness which is responsible for 90% of our forest fires."
Another state assemblyman, Leroy F. Greene, commented, "Since Washington didn't consult George when they named their city, we didn't consider it vital to consult them when we named our bear." And he added, "It is incredible to contemplate the bureaucratic mind in action. Nothing is too big for it to attempt. Nothing is too small for it to accomplish."
There is a computer in Italy that appears to be playing footsie with Communism. The Italian State Radio rented "Red" without knowing its politics and asked it to decide who would win the world soccer championship in 1970.
Computer says: the Mexico City quarter-finals will be among Brazil, West Germany, England, the Soviet Union, Mexico, Italy, Bulgaria and Uruguay; the finalists, whittled down electronically, will be West Germany and the Soviet Union, and the Russians are 2-to-1 favorites to beat the Germans. (Remember Stalingrad.) "The machine must be pro-Communist," said one expert. Nonmechanized bookmakers say most bets so far are on West Germany and England.
Like Duke Snider, Jay Kirke, Joe Pepitone and Ed Kranepool, the Professional Bowlers Association continues to have trouble with lefthanders. In the final tournament of 1969, the PBA National at Garden City, N.Y., the top three finishers were all left-handed. In a recent PBA tournament at Wichita, Kans. the first nine finishers were lefties. Right-handers say the reason for these disproportionate numbers is the finish on the lanes. After dozens of righthanders have bowled on virtually the same area of a lane during a day of practice and then a day or two of competition, the finish tends to break down. The ball cannot be bowled truly, and the bowlers have to experiment with new angles.
Lefthanders, relatively few in number, have no such problem on their side of the lane. And it is significant that Billy Hardwick, a righthander who won seven major tournaments in 1969 and was named Bowler of the Year, is the only righthander who throws from the extreme edge of the lane, setting his ball down only an inch or so from the gutter, away from the traffic. Yet even Hardwick had trouble at Wichita: he was second in the qualifying round but later, in actual competition, faded to 12th.
No one as yet seems to have come up with a solution to the problem, any more than those batters mentioned above came up with a solution for left-handed breaking pitches. Meanwhile, the lefthanders are not complaining at all.
Notre Dame is leading NYU by nine points in the closing seconds of their game in Madison Square Garden. A Notre Dame boy from New York City named John Gallagher scores on a three-point play—his only points of the night—just as the game ends. A delighted roar goes up from the stands. Ah, thinks an innocent, the crowd is cheering the hometown boy. No, explains a realist, the crowd is cheering because Gallagher's effort has raised Notre Dame's margin of victory from nine points to 12. The point spread is 10. Oh, New York. Oh, basketball.
THEY SAID IT
•Ewing Kauffman, Kansas City Royals owner, explaining tests being given to young players to ascertain their baseball capabilities: "We have discovered what it takes to put a man on the moon; we surely can discover what it takes to put one in the major leagues."
•Tom Russo, University of Illinois at Chicago Circle basketball coach, on learning that after four years without one the school will have a new gymnasium next season: "Great, that means I won't have to ask every prospect I see if he has a basket on his garage in case we need a place to practice."