The Senate Commerce Committee is concluding hearings on a bill to extend the U.S. fisheries jurisdiction from the present 12 miles to 200 miles offshore. In the opinion of commercial fishermen and deep-sea anglers, such jurisdiction is imperative if the U.S. is to protect its rich coastal fisheries from ravagement by fleets from the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany, Japan and other nations.
Sponsored in the Senate by Warren Magnuson of Washington and in the House by Gerry E. Studds of Massachusetts, the bill would apply to fishing rights only. It would not affect traditional navigational rights or the three-mile territorial limit, nor would it interfere with any provisions that might later be ratified by the U.N. Law of the Sea Conference.
Recently Studds emphasized the urgent need for passage of the bill. "When Senator Magnuson and I filed this interim 200-mile-limit legislation last June 13th," he told the Commerce Committee, "we knew that the voracious foreign fleets off our coasts were threatening the continued existence of the most important fish stocks. The situation today is even more critical."
The Studds-Magnuson bill is expected to clear the committee and win approval from Congress, but there is some uncertainty as to whether President Nixon will sign it. The Administration may be willing to sacrifice coastal fisheries so as not to rock the boat of detente. Exerting pressure of their own, fishermen up and down the East Coast are organizing a sail on Washington to begin next week. Barring foul weather, it will end at the Capitol June 11.
Watch out! Ohio State again. Women this time. It is not enough that the OSU men have been giving the country a case of the Buckeyes these many years. Led by Phyllis Bailey, associate director of women's physical education, the 11 OSU women's teams won five state titles out of a possible seven this year, had two seconds and a fifth in the three Big Ten events they entered, sent four teams to national competitions and had a combined 101-48-3 record. Presiding for the first time over the women's Recognition Banquet—two previous tries were hen parties—OSU Athletic Director J. Edward Weaver was almost beside himself in reporting that 66 of the 186 women honored had academic records of 3.0 or better. "There's no secret as to how we feel about our program," he said. "There's a tremendous, bright future for women's intercollegiate athletics at Ohio State. We can be looked upon across the country as one of the great programs, and weave it nicely with our 18 varsity sports for men." And they don't give a damn for the whole state of Michigan.
When rain clouds darken the sky and the heavens begin to rumble, a wide-open playing field is the last place to be. Although the lesson seems always to have to be relearned, at least 19 athletically inclined people will not soon forget it. Over the last couple of weeks they were all struck by lightning.
The first 18 came a cropper on May 17 during a Midwest high school lacrosse tournament in Columbus, Ohio. Worthington, a suburb of Columbus, was leading Shadyside Academy from Pittsburgh 6-1 in the opening round when the rains came. Officials called the game and instructed the players to leave the field—alas, too late. A bolt struck one of the goals and down went the 18, all knocked out. Remarkably, the most serious injury was a broken arm. Undaunted, Worthington went on to win the tournament with what one Ohioan—no doubt looking nervously over his shoulder—described as an electrifying win over L'Anse Creuse of Mount Clemens, Mich.
Less, or more, lucky, according to how one views it, was Greg Lehrer, a 14-year-old third baseman from Irving, Texas. He was scuffing some dirt in front of the base when lightning hit him. The bolt shredded his cap, entered his body through his forehead and left through his right heel. He lay limp for 40 minutes, saved by heart massage and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. After a short stay in the hospital, Lehrer's only mementos of the near tragedy were superficial burns on his body, a ruptured eardrum that is expected to heal and a blackened religious medal, its chain having disintegrated. On the medal were these words: O MARY CONCEIVED WITHOUT SIN, PRAY FOR US WHO HAVE RECOURSE TO THEE. Amen.
WOODMAN, SPARE THAT NEST
An immense forested area of southern Alaska is being spotted with warning signs attached to the finest of its huge old trees, the youngest of which are estimated to be some 350 years old. The point is not to protect the trees as such, but to save the bald eagle nests atop them.
Eagles need the big trees. Their massive nests may contain 150 cubic feet of limbs, moss and grass weighing several tons. It is believed that eagles that lose their nests go through the mating season in such a state of frustration that they refuse to build a substitute nursery.
It is illegal to cut trees bearing the nests, but in the dense woods the aeries are often hard to see from the ground. Clear-cutting operations have not done much for the eagle's lot, either.
This spring, to give the eagles a fighting chance for survival, the Forest Service began supplying Fish and Wildlife Service biologists with maps detailing proposed forestry, mining and road-construction projects. The biologists in turn fanned out over Alaska's widespread woods, marking every eagle nest they could find. Moreover, by law no trees may be cut within 330 feet of the marked ones.
Trees bearing eagle nests often are the most valuable in an area leased for cutting. Recognition that eagles have first claim on them is a full-fledged triumph.
Actor Cameron Mitchell bets horses on their beauty rather than past performance charts, and after what happened recently at Miami's Calder Race Course even wizened purists will find it hard to fault the system. Raemax and Magic Lil in the $10 perfecta brought Mitchell $1,104. He took a flyer on 12-to-1 Snugasabuginarug in the fifth, won that too, for $260.20, then cashed tickets on First of the Fare ($5.40) and I'm Adorable ($3.20) in the sixth and ninth races. In the final he used Victors Verse in the perfecta and trifecta, collecting $43.80 and $211.40 more.
But it was not a perfect day. In all the excitement Mitchell completely forgot another system he likes, betting his favorite number—four. Miami's Choice, No. 4 horse in the fourth, returned $75.60 for $2. Got any other systems, Mitch?
A BETTER IDEA
A common complaint about pro basketball is that the only portion of the game worth watching is the final five minutes, all that goes before being mere jockeying for the final push. This, of course, is a blanket criticism that conveniently overlooks the frequently lopsided scores that themselves have been cause for complaint and the dazzling play one sees during the first 43 minutes. Still, reasons New York Marketing Consultant Jordan Green, there is enough to the gripe to warrant a solution, and the one he has worked up merits consideration.
Green calls his plan the Point Incentive System. As in hockey, league standing would be determined by points instead of won-lost percentages. For winning a game, a team would be awarded two points, but it could earn a third point if it led at the half. If the losing team was ahead at halftime, it would receive a point in the standings.
The strength of Green's suggestion is that it would discourage first-half lethargy and encourage decisive play in the opening quarters, without changing the rules of a very good game. Furthermore, while giving spectators something more to cheer about, it would not result in some aberration by which, say, the Philadelphia 76ers ended up ahead of the Boston Celtics. Based on this season's results, under Green's system the best teams would have wound up on top—where they belong. In the NBA, for instance, the only change in the standings would have occurred in the Pacific Division, where the Warriors would have beaten the Lakers for first place by several points rather than finishing—as they did—three games behind. San Diego took fourth in the ABA West by defeating Denver in a one-game playoff. Using the point incentive, Denver would have finished ahead and the extra game would not have been required.
Of course, one aspect of such a change we could not look forward to is a coach saying, "We play 'em a half at a time."
London was recently hit with a "pupternity" suit. Tammy, Mrs. Jessie Way's pedigree boxer, was accidentally let out by municipal workmen, and the result was eight mongrel pups. Mrs. Way put in a claim for damages from the Hammersmith District Council. "It's costing me about $24 a week," she said. "Obviously I can't sue the father for maintenance, but I think the council should pay up." The council denied responsibility and made no issue of visiting rights.
When the news reached Worcester (Mass.) Polytechnic Institute earlier this month that the school's bowling team had won the Eastern Intercollegiates, the reaction was instant and unanimous: "What bowling team?"
Turns out that six undergraduates—two seniors, a junior and three sophomores—had been kegling away industriously on the college's lanes and getting pretty good at the sport. Good enough, students and the graduate athletes' Poly Club eventually decided, to deserve a trip to the nationals in Gainesville, Fla. There the ragtag outfit ran into heavy competition—sartorially, that is. All the other teams were outfitted in natty uniforms and some even had coaches. The Technicians merely had this little knack with the ball. They won the team title going away, the first national championship for the school in 108 years. What bowling team, indeed!
The last visible sign of the recent ski season in the Sierra Nevada was a Volkswagen buzzing through Reno with the usual ski rack fastened to the back. The rack bore a pair of crutches.
WRONG PARTY, RIGHT NUMBERS
Trying to help Warren Capone, LSU's 1973 All-America linebacker, negotiate a contract with the World Football League, Attorney George Bevan put in a phone call to the head coach of the Houston Texans. The coach was out, so Bevan left a message. "This is George Bevan in Baton Rouge. Please call me about a football contract."
An assistant coach returned the call. "Mr. Bevan, we have checked your football record," he said, before Bevan could interrupt, "and we are prepared to offer you a $5,000 bonus to sign a contract, $20,000 salary if you make the team and $10,000 if you make the All-League team."
Bevan was flattered. The offer was higher than any he received from the NFL in 1969, when he was an All-America linebacker for LSU. He stuck to law. His client Capone signed with the Birmingham Americans.
THEY SAID IT
•Mike Sadek, .132 batter for the Phoenix Giants of the Pacific Coast Baseball League before getting three solid hits in four at bats as 208 fans watched: "It was so quiet in the park, every time I came to bat I could hear the radio announcer giving my average. I was so embarrassed I decided to do something about it."
•Dave Wottle, professional trackman, noting the high cost of living during a recent trip to Japan: "We got $20 a day meal money and we could make out fairly well on that. There was a McDonald's hamburger stand close by."
•Dick Siebert, coach of Minnesota's Big Ten baseball co-champions: "The trouble with bed checks is you usually disturb your best players."
•Jack Burke, golf pro, after being told Arnold Palmer brought eight putters to the Colonial in Fort Worth: "That's a bagful of indecision."