The daily Tar Heel. (Chapel Hill, N.C.) 1946-current, September 26, 1975, Page 1, Image 1
4 n ii i W tit ServmS the students and the University community since 1893 Vol. 83, No. 21 Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Friday, September 26, 1975 Weather: humid Jennings suggests thoroughfare plan not include Rosemary by Johnny Oliver Staff Writer Chapel Hill Planning Director Mike Jennings said Wednesday night he will recommend deletion of a Rosemary Street thoroughfare from the state Department of Transportation thoroughfare plan. The proposed thoroughfare plan, which outlines an extensive system of streets and highways in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, was adopted in 1969 and is now being revised to accommodate the towns' and state's standards. At the Planning Board's public meeting Wednesday, Jennings proposed that the Rosemary Street provision be deleted. The proposal was supported by the Planning Board's long-range planning subcommittee in an effort to preserve the Horace Williams House, located in the middle of the town's planned historic district. Several objections to the state's plan were voiced at the meeting. Jennings said the state's proposed thoroughfare plan does not assess the town's bus system adequately. "We want more analysis of the bus system in the plan," Jennings said. Subcommittee member Ann Slifkin said a cost-benefit analysis and an environmental impact study should be done on the thoroughfare plan. The thoroughfare plan does not consider the location of future schools, parks and residential sections, subcommittee member Charles Weiss said. But former Planning Board member Don Wells spoke in favor of the plan, saying it is necessary because the existing streets cause the "almost total inability for emergency vehicles to move quickly through town." Local realtor P.H. Craige favored the plan, .saying the new roads built in the thoroughfare system would increase the town's overall value. The state's proposed plan is intended to accommodate increased traffic in Chapel Campaign to encourage voters begins Saturday A campaign to encourage North Carolina students to register to vote will begin Saturday with a conference at Duke University, Campaign for Student Voters coordinator Gary Thomas announced Thursday. The Campaign for Student Voters began earlier this year as a program to educate high school and college student leaders about voter registration. The student leaders are then to inform their fellow students on residency requirements, polling places and other voting procedures. Approximately 600 letters inviting student leaders to the Duke conference have been mailed to all high schools, colleges and community colleges. But Thomas said he is unsure how many students will attend, because many groups have not had the opportunity to reply yet. The Duke conference is the first part of a three-part voter registration series. Additional campaigns will be held Oct. 1 1 in Kenansville at the James Front Institute and Oct. 18 at UNC-Asheville. by Lynn Medford Assistant News Editor Second of a two-part series ASHEV1LLE The lobbying effects of special interest groups and government officials have helped obtain the acceptance of a highway construction project w hich will destroy Beaucatcher Mountain here, Beaucatcher Mountain Defense Association Chairperson Marylyn Gordon charged recently. The defense association has filed a complaint seeking a court injunction to stop construction of an open cut through the : mountain, located in downtown Asheville on U.S. 70-74. The cut was planned by the state transportation department to eliminate a traffic bottleneck created by the highway's two-lane tunnel. But the defense association contends that twin-tunnels would solve the bottleneck situation without the adverse environmental impact the open cut would have. Gordon contends that certain Asheville industrial groups would financially benefit more from the open cut project than from the tunneling project. Since more than six million tons of rock will be excavated from the cut and only two Hill. But Jennings said, "I'm not convinced that we're going to have the great increase in traffic that they (the transportation department) predict." No actual estimates have been made of Chapel Hill's projected traffic volume, according to the town's planning staff. The state's proposed thoroughfare plan also provides that South Road, which runs in front of Woollen Gym and the Bell Tower, be widened to four lanes. Jennings suggested the road remain as it is except for the addition of turn lanes at intersections. Jennings also recommended that Franklin Street be widened and extended to meet a widened Main Street in Carrboro. He said this would relieve some of the present traffic congestion. Jennings disagreed with the state's plan to create a one-way pairing of Rosemary and Pittsboro Streets. He said one-way pairing would hurt the downtown area, while the proposed connecting roads in residential areas would significantly increase traffic in these areas. The state contends in its proposal that automobile pollution for a given number of cars is reduced whenever traffic is permitted to flow smoothly on thoroughfares. But Jennings said the increased thoroughfare traffic will also increase emissions. The Planning Board received the state's proposed rough draft on Sept. 5 and Jennings said he will send his recommendations to the Department of Transportation next week. He expects to receive a formal report from the state concerning his recommendations in October. Both Chapel Hill and Carrboro must approve the thoroughfare plan before it can be implemented. Chapel Hill's planning staff expects that it will take at least 20 years before some form of the thoroughfare plan is initiated. If constructed, the thoroughfare system will cost approximately $30 million, to be divided between the state and the towns. "In the 1972 election, less than 50 per cent of those students eligible to register registered to vote," Thomas said. "While that was a very poor percentage, even fewer voted." Thomas said the committee's task is tremendous, because the consolidated University of North Carolina system has approximately 90,000 students alone with an additional 80,000 high school seniors being eligible to vote this year. Thomas said the campaign will work closely with the State Board of Elections in trying to persuade universities to hold registration on their campuses. The Campaign for Student Voters will bring together bi-partisan statewide groups including the North Carolina Student Legislature, the North Carolina State Youth Councils, North Carolina Comprehensive Community College Student Government Association, North Carolina Association of Student Governments, North Carolina Federations of College Democrats and Republicans and North Carolina Teenage Democrats and Republicans. million from the tunnels, "the cut equals money for interest groups such as those with earth moving equipment and dirt movers," Gordon said. "We've been given no explanation of where all that rock will go." Bill Caddell, state transportation department assistant secretary for planning, explained that "most of the material coming from the cut will be used on the east side of the mountain" for building access roads. "Anybody in the state, or the United States for that matter, is allowed to bid for the construction project," Caddell said. "By law, the lowest bid that meets the legal requirements gets the contract." Gordon contended that past actions of government officials, both state and local, reflect questionable motives on their part. She said government officials prevented public input on the highway project to stop complaints about the cut. In August 1974, the Asheville City Council passed a resolution to ban public hearings on the Beaucatcher project. In the: resolution, the council said the issue in question was actually the method of construction, not the environmental impact and should be decided by the state and local governments. Gordon said local officials led her to believe that a hearing on the open cut and. interests .:;':: ; .., fev't. .--: r f wm 4 t t Mi mm - , ' ' Umbrellas and students accompanied one another to class again Thursday as the sixth day of what seemed to be 40 days of rain ran its course. by Bruce Henderson Staff Writer Increased telephone service rates may result from the proposed sale of UNC's telephone utility to Southern Bell Telephone Co. Southern Bell applied for a rate increase July 19, 1974, requesting higher charges for monthly service, installation charges, and a new charge for directory assistance. Rate increases would vary locally according to the size of the calling area, a utilities official said. For a town the size of Chapel Hill, he said, the local service rate would increase from $6.40 to $8.25 per phone. University rates are now $6.50 per month. John Temple, assistant vice-chancellor for business, said Tuesday a 1974 University analysis showed that Southern Bell rates were then slightly less than the University's rates. Donald McKinsey, Southern Bell chief engineer in Charlotte, said Wednesday the sale contract stipulated that Chapel Hill rates must be equal to those of any other municipality of the same size. Sale contracts for the telephone utility to Southern Bell for $24 million were approved by the UNC Utilities Study Commission (the Church Commission) Sept. 11. The sale must now be approved, in turn, by the UNC Board of Governors, the Governor's Council of State, the state Utilities Commission and the Federal Communications Commission. If all steps are made, Southern Bell could take over the UNC system April 31, 1976. Utilities Commission hearings on the increase application begin Oct. 7 and a ruling is expected sometime before the year's end. Utilities officials added that, if the increase is twin-tunnel alternatives was closed to the public, when it was actually open. Asheville town officials told Gordon that a hearing scheduled in Raleigh for Aug. 22, 1974 was closed to public oral comment, although complaints would be recorded in meeting minutes, she said. To assure herself the defense association's written complaints were recorded at the Raleigh hearing, Gordon said she called Phillip J. Kirk, administrative assistant to Gov. James E. Holshouser, asking him to make sure the complaints were handled properly. Several weeks after the hearing, Kirk replied in a letter that the hearing had not been open to the public, Gordon said, adding that Kirk also sent a copy of the meeting's minutes. But another Raleigh official sent a copy of the minutes that included two paragraphs Kirk's letter had omitted, Gordon said. The two paragraphs said an Asheville citizen spoke in favor of the open cut, she said. Kirk's secretary, Sherylle Cribb, said Wednesday Kirk told her he does not recall the matter. Gordon also contended that the transportation department, in an effort to promote the open cut, led the public to believe a prominent New York tunnel by Dan Fesperman Staff Writer The Student Supreme Court, following a Wednesday night hearing marked by a challenge to Chief Justice Darrell Hancock, will decide the fate of the Media Board today when it rules on the board's legal composition. The hearing resulted from a restraining order granted last week to nine members of the old Media Board. They maintained that the new Media Board bylaws, written last week by board chairperson Dick Pope, were illegally approved by the Campus Governing Council. The new bylaws had dissolved the old Media Board and authorized Pope and George Bacso, treasurer of the old Media Board, to act as an interim board until a new board is established. The restraining order temporarily halted the old board's dissolution. The court hearing began with controversy when Ben Steelman, representing Pope, requested that Hancock disqualify himself because Hancock's roommate, David Ford, represents the nine plaintiffs. But Hancock, refused to disqualify himself. Pope said after the hearing, "I just think that it is totally unethical. Can you imagine if the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court was a bachelor and the plaintiffs attorney was the guy that he lived with? That would never be allowed." Pope had said he wrote the new bylaws because he could not find a verified copy of the old bylaws. The old Media Board members sought to prove that existing copies of the old bylaws were verified. Mark Dearmon, former Media Board chairperson, testified that he had introduced the Media Board bylaws for ' ' 'A , ' J " i - - x ' ? : i y ' ' ' i V I 3 5 I X ? I i s Bell applied for rate increase in 1974 approved, the exact allocation of the increases will be up to the commission. To generate the same amount of increase3 revenues, he said, the commission may decide to raise charges other than those Bell had proposed (such as increasing local service rates less than proposed and increasing installation charges more). Controversy over pay scales and employee seniority arose at the recent Church Commission meeting. Mayor Howard N. Lee, a member of the commission, said that some University telephone employees feel they would not receive pay reflecting the number of years experience they have. UNC Utilities Director Grey Culbreth said Tuesday such a situation could possibly arise. A University employee may be earning $150 a week after four years here, he said, and be paid $160 at Bell, even though a Bell r "I 'J St J I v- l Jimmy Wallace, candidate for mayor of Chapel Hill construction firm was hired to make a cost analysis and comparison of the tunnel and cut projects, when actually state engineers made the estimates. After several Asheville area news releases reported that the highway department had retained the New York tunnel engineering firm. Highway Department Administrator Billy Rose told Gordon during a radio question-and-answer session in 1971 that Singstad, Kehart, Nov ember and Hurkawas the firm the department consulted. After writing the firm to ask for the results of their study of the Beaucatcher situation, Gordon said she received a reply from the firm, stating that the firm "entered into negotiations with the state, but final agreement was never completed." Gordon said she then wrote Rose for reaffirmation of the firm's name. In his replying letter, Rose then denied that the state employed Singstad and his associates and said the cost analysis was done by state engineers, she said. "We do not doubt the state engineers are good," Gordon said. "But they do not have the expertise for tunnel drilling." Gordon also maintained that the state cost analysis omitted expenses such as buying rights-of-ways in calculating the open cut costs and padded the tunnel cost estimate 1 I move n Or employee with only two years experience was paid the same rate. Culbreth said he doubted this would happen, however! McKinsey said the sale contract only stipulated that all University personnel retain their jobs at the same pay, or higher, if the sale is completed. In some cases, he said, salaries might be increased. Some accounting employees of the UNC system may be asked to move to new job locations, Culbreth said. Most workers here will be pleased if the sale goes through, he said. "The workers (here) are so worn out" by the negotiations, Culbreth said, "that they'll be glad to get it (the sale) over with. We'll be glad to get the show on the road." Temple said Tuesday he "expects to see hardly a ripple" in local phone service if Wallace announces candidacy for mayor by Richard Whittle Staff Writer Citing public health and safety as his top priorities, James C. "Jimmy" Wallace announced at a Thursday morning press conference that he will be a candidate for mayor here. A professor at North Carolina State University and member of the N.C. Environmental Management Commission, Wallace said he decided to run "as a result of with such things as an unnecessary ventilating system. 1 "I don't believe our staff or an outside staff tried to bias the cost analysis," Rose said. "We didn't have tunnel experts so we brought in outside ones." At any rate, Gordon said, "Tunnel boring equipment designed in the last few years has been able to cut down on time and cost," therefore the state's cost estimate is outdated. Gordon also said the major local newspaper, the Asheville Citizen-Times, did not give full coverage to the arguments raised against the cut. "We've had a very one-sided press locally," defense association co-chairperson Mart,. Coggins said. "Filing the complaint can inform the public of the actual extent of the cut's damage " Announcements of public hearings on the Beaucatcher open cut were buried in the legal notes column, Gordon said. "They didn't want to take the chance of anything being stirred up." Luther B. Thigpen, executive director of the Citizen-Times, said he feels the newspaper has covered the controversy fairly. "We've published both sides of the story for 1 5 years, as far as I know," he said. or c i o (r n approval at the Dec. 3, 1974 meeting of the CGC. Johnny Kaleel, then CGC speaker, also testified that the bylaws had been introduced. Dearmon said the bylaws were then passed by the CGC after only slight discussion and without any amendments proposed. But Kaleel said amendments were definitely proposed, and as he recalls, some of them were passed. "I would not make a firm statement that there were positively amendments added, but only because I can't definitely remember," Kaleel said. Steelman also presented an affidavit from former Media Board Secretary Melissa Coles, saying she had been notified that bylaw amendments would be made but none were ever presented to her. Ford argued that the student constitution does not give the CGC power to create organization bylaws. He said Article IV, Section 2, states only that bylaws shall be approved by the CGC. "The power to approve does not imply the power to create," Ford said. Steelman said, "It (the constitution) also does not say that the Media Board can write its own bylaws. Therefore I don't know who the hell would write Media Board bylaws." Ford's argument over the semantics of "approve" was superfluous, Steelman said. "The Media Board was created to provide expertise in financial management, not to subvert the financial power of the council." Supreme Court justice David Carpenter said after the hearing the court would probably reach a decision in 15 minutes. But Hancock said he will not announce the decision until he has written the court's opinion. Southern Bell assumes control. The limitations of the University system equipment would force Bell to operate initially, the way the University system now does, he said. The sale contract includes the sale of all telephone equipment and the telephone exchange building on Rosemary Street, he said, but not the Manning Drive building. "They (Bell) haven't indicated renovating," he said, "but that's the trend. I believe you'll see something in the next 10 years or so." McKinsey said Southern Bell has no plans for renovation there is a very fine system there; there's no reason to renovate." He said, however, that as the company introduces new electro-mechanical systems, future renovations may be made. having been asked to by literally dozens of citizens from all walks of life in Chapel Hill." He stressed that he is running as an independent candidate. "I am not running as a representative of any faction or group." he said. Wallace said another reason he is running is so that more than one part of the political spectrum will be represented in the Nov. 4 election. The only other announced candidate for mayor is Chapel Hill Alderman Gerry Cohen. An outspoken environmentalist, Wallace said Chapel Hill "has fallen behind in waste water treatment and must do something about it." The Environmental Protection Agency is currently pressuring the town to lower the level of ammonia in its waste water, and Wallace said that if the town fails to find a solution soon, it could be forced to build an expensive nitrification plant. Wallace said he aims to decrease the amount of time spent by the mayor and Board of Aldermen in board meetings. "I've had the feeling that the presiding officer needs to use his gavel more," Wallace said. He added that he believes he could shorten board meetings by controlling debate strictly. He also said he feels the committee and report systems should be put to use more in Chapel Hill so that board decisions could be made more quickly. A former member of both the Chapel Hill Board of Aldermen and the tow n's Planning Board, Wallace came to Chapel Hill in 1940 as a student from Martin County. He holds degrees in mathematics, physics, history, public hea! h and law. Except for a three-year period in he 1940s, Wallace has resided in Chapel Hill since he was a student and has served as a visiting professor at both the Duke University and UNC law schools.