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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 7, 1975)
friday, march 7, 1975
lincoln, nebraska vol. 98 no. 94
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Varner: Exon NU
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Governor J J. Exon, John W. Warner, national administrator of the American Revolution
Bicentennial Administration, and D.B. Varner, NU president and president of the Board of
Directors of the Interstate 80 Bicentennial Sculpture Corporation, display one ot the
bicentennial flags given to the state Thursday.
Bicentennial projects lauded
budget too small
Passage of Gov. J J. Exon's proposed university -wide budget will
force the University of Nebraska to make major program
reductions. NU President D.B. Vamer said Thursday.
Testifying before the Unicameral's Appropriations Committee,
Varner said that maintaining the university at the 1974-75 level,
without including any plans for improvement or expansion, would
cost millions of dollars more than the governor's recommendations.
With that budget, Varner said, "just to stand still, we will have
to cut back existing programs somewhere between $1.7 million and
"As a Nebraska citizen, I can appreciate the problem," Varner
told the legislators, "it's not easy to be critical of tight budgeting,
but the governor's proposed budget dees not take into account the
rise of university operating costs."
Salaries a priority
Appearing at the fourth day of Appropriations Committee
hearings on the university budget, Varner said the number one
priority for the university system should be faculty salaries. He
See related story p. 5
Nebraska is the blueprint for all states to
follow in their Bicentennial activities, according
to John W. Warner, national administrator of the
American Revolution Bicentennial
Warner, a former Secretary of the Navy, was
in Lincoln Thursday to give national recognition
to the Interstate 80 Bicentennial Sculpture
The sculpture project involves the
commissioning of twelve American artists to
create outdoor sculptures for twelve roadside
park-rest stops along Interstate 80 in Nebraska by
July 4, 1976. The artists hired for the project
will construct as much of their project as possible
in Nebraska, according to Art Thompson, project
Warner said the roadside project is one of the
top three or four Bicentennial projects in the
nation. It is the only one which has been
recognized officially by the American
Big Corn, Big Red
"I always thought of Nebraska as Big Com,
Big Red and I hope that it will be Big
Centennial," he said.
Any Bicentennial activity will make people
think about how and why this country started,
Warner said. .....
After traveling through 25 states, he said that
Nebraska is one of the few to cover the whole
spectrum of Bicentennial interests. But, he
added, the Bicentennial will noi oe ceieoraicu m
r.na nir hut in earh and everv state.
At a luncheon attended by over 100 people,
Warner presented the Bicentennial flag to NU
President D.B. Varner. Varner, president of the
Board of Directors of the Interstate 80
Bicentennial Sculpture Corporation, in turn gave
12 identical flags to Gov. J. James Exon. The
flags will be flown at the rest stops where the
sculptures are located.
Saying the project is a great benefit to
contemporary American sculptors and the works
' of art which will be produced, Warner said it will
benefit each corrmunity, the state and the
people long after the Bicentennial.
Exon endorsed the project, saying, "it will be
a most important legacy to all future generations
of Americans and a source of continuing pride to
The idea of creating a "450 mile sculpture
garden" along Interstate 80 as a Bicentennial
project was introduced by Thomas Yates, then
chairman of the tourism sub-committee of the
Lincoln Chamber of Commerce. It was adopted
by the Nebraska American Revolution
Bicentennial Commission in August, 1973.
On Feb. 12, the commission tentatively
approved 12 artists and four alternates selected
from a national list.
There will not be a full-size sculpture of Bob
Devaney, Thompson said. The sculptures mostly
will be futuristic, constructed of brick, concrete
and steel, he said.
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Nuclear power aebofeo
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The possible danger of nuclear
power plants was debated Thursday in
a public hearing of the Unicameral's
Public Works committee.
The hearing concerned LB 439, a
bill which would place a moratorium
on nuclear power plant construction.
Sen. Steve Fowler of Lincoln, who
introduced the bill, said it would not
effect present power plants.
Other options than building more
nuclear plants are open to Nebraska,
Fowler said. He mentioned
possibilities for developing solar
energy, hydro-electric and coal plants,
and promoting individual
Fowler cited a Lincoln Electric
System survey which calculated the
cost of insulating every ceiling in
Linculn-about $216 per home.
With new power plants, he said,' at
least one billion dollars is involved.
That would produce a total
indebtedness of about $ 1900 for every
home, he said.
Fowler said there are other reasons
Nebraska should halt the construction
of nuclear power plants.
Low-level radiation is detrimental
to human health, but nuclear plants
have not been tested completely, he
i nw KinKiev. now a
Nebraska physician, also objected to
nuclear power plants.
"No reprocessing facilities are
presently operating in the U.S. which
will reprocess the waste from these
plaiiiS, rviugaicy ouiu.
Experts have considered many ways
to handle this waste, he said, from
putting the waste underground to
sending it into outerspace. No solution
has yet been found, Kingsley said.
Representatives from Omaha Public
Powct District (OPPD) spoke against
the bill to halt nuclear plant
Dr. Lloyd Wipplc, OPPD, admitted
the plants had not been fully tested,
but he said he had more confidence in
them than driving to Omaha in the
Petroleum and natural gas have
become too scarce to use for energy,
Wipple said, so only three alternatives
are left-power from coal, nuclear
energy power or no power at all. He
added that coal was not as economical
as nuclear fuel.
Another representative from OPPD
estimated it would require 1.3 million
tons of coal to produce as much
energy as the nuclear plant at Ft.
appealed to committee members to help the university provide fail
treatment, boost morale, and retain a high caliber of academic
personnel by offering greater faculty pay.
Varner asked for cost of living increases plus higher salary scale
and stressed, "I am only asking this for faculty, not all university
"We ask ourselves 'What will we do if we don't get full
funding?'," Varner told the committee, "but in terms of salaries,
we have no choice. There's no question, in terms of the long term
buildingpf the university, competitive pay is vital."
Varner also asked the legislators to consider inflation's impact
on university purchasing power. He appealed for an eight per cent
increase in funding for chemicals, library periodicals, hospital
expenditures, and maintenance and utility costs for university
Areas of Excellence necessary
Strengthening the Areas of Excellence program on each campus
is a necessary improvement item, Varner said, and he stressed the
Medical Center's Rural Health Program as a high priority case.
Better health care for rural Nebraska is a major concern of the
Board of Regents, Varner said.
During consideration of the State University of Nebraska (SUN)
Varner said that SUN "has as much promise as anything I ve
worked with in education in 25 years."
Varner asked the committee to provide $157,000 for next
year's courses. He said that with this funding SUN would provide
1 5 televised courses. An average of
Continued on pg. 3
Dr. Lloyd Wipple from the Omaha Public Power District testifies
against LB 439, which would halt nuclear power plant construction
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