The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 10, 1984, Page Page 4, Image 4

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    Wednesday, October 10, 1934
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Dally Nebraskan
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There's no excuse for not voting.
When you turn 18 you get a
chance to participate In our govern
ment. It's a privilege thousands have
fought and died for. Low voter turnout b
a sign of apathy and complacency.
People complain that they pay too
much in taxes, or that the poor are starv
ing, or that we need a nuclear freeze, or
that we need more nuclear weapons.
Then they say they are too busy to vote.
Nationally, less than 60 percent of eli
gible voters usually turn out for the
election. A lot of people think their votes,
dont count. They don't if people don't
vote.
The direction this country takes for the
next fouryears will be determined by this
November's election. We will take either
the conservative path seek further
expansion of the private sector and the
defense budget and reduce government;
or the liberal path seek reductions in
the huge federal deficit, seek reductions
in the defense budget and try to find ways
to keep Social Security and Medicare
alive.
It doesn't matter whether you re a
Democrat or a Republican. If you dont
vote, you dont have a right to complain
about President Reagan, or, conceivably,
President Mondale.
There also are many state and local
issues and candidates to vote on. Those
votes can and will afect your life some
how. We are lucky to be Americans because,
unlike many others, we have a voice in
how we are ruled. Take the time to regis
ter and vote for president, for the senate
races, even for the country weed board
You have until Oct. 28 to register, it
only takes a minute. Go to the city
County Building, 555 S. 10th St Go tc the
Election Commissioner's office anytime
between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday
and Thursday. It's open until 5:30 p.m. If
you want to vote on local issues and your
hometown isnt Lincoln, you need to reg
ister in your own county. If you register in
Lincoln, you can only vote on Lancaster
County issues.
t-a-rockfish ' program
protects endangered species
very boy should have a pet, and
mine is named Ralph. Or Amanda. I
cannot be sure. I have never met
the creature and, even if I had, I know
nothing of the delicacy required to ascer
tain the sex of a striped bass.
Maryland, where a striped bass is called
a rockfish and is the official state fish, has
a program whereby for $5 you can adopt
George
Will
a bass. The proceeds help finance studies
of the decline of one of America's most
precious sport and commercial marine
resources.
The striped bass has been called "the
aquatic equivalent of the American bald
eagle." It was the subject of the first con
servation law in North America: In 1639,
the Massachusetts Bay Colony forbade
the use of these fish as fertilizer. In 1670,
the first public school on this continent
was financed in Plymouth Colony by prof
its from striped bass, herring and mack
erel. Captain John Smith wrote of seeing
the Chesapeake Bay so teeming with bass
that a man could almost walk on their
backs. -
But today the bass population is on the
verge of collapse of spawning failure.
In 1973, 14.7 million pounds of bass were
harvested from Atlantic coast waters. In
1983, the catch was just 1 .7 million pounds.
The decline could become irreversible
before scientific evidence even establishes
the role of various causes, which may
include overfishing but certainly and pri
marily include many forms of pollution.
At some point, economic forces become
perverse: As bass have become scarce,
the price they fetch has soared, increas
ing the incentive tc catch them. And even
the small amount of good news is a scien
tific puzzle. Why is the bass population in
the Hudson River expanding? One delight
ful explanation is that the river's limes
tone bed acts like Alka-Seltzer and coun
ters the acidity of acid rain.
Of the 12 coastal states along the bass
migration range from Maine to North
Carolina, Maryland is immeasurably the
most important. Ninety percent of the
bass are spawned in the rivers running
into the Chesapeake Bay, and 75 percent
of the bass caught are taken in waters
under Maryland jurisdiction. Thus it is no
empty gesture that Maryland has made
in banning the taking of bass, beginning
next year and continuing until the decline
is reversed.
- The Chesapeake Bay has been called the
nation's finest protein factory. But its
productivity is now jeopardized by indus
trial pollution, chlorine from sewage treat
ment, runofis of agricultural chemicals
and acid rain. Maryland has grave responsi
bility of the bay, but this is a national
asset and hence a national problem. The
President acknowledged as much when,
in this year's State of the Union address,
he mentioned protecting the bay.
Another Great Communicator, the Palm-.
ist celebrated "the great and wide sea with
its living things too many to number." But
those things are not too many to become
endangered. Over harvesting is responsi
ble for today's sharp decline in lobster
stocks. The decline is so serious that per
haps 90 percent of each year's generation
of one-pound lobsters is being taken,
many of them before they have repro
duced even once.
Last year William Warner, who won a
Pulitzer Prize for his book "Beautiful Swim
mers: Watermen, Crabs and the Chesa-
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peake Bay," published a splendid, instruc
tive book, "Distant Water." It tells how
"factory trawlers" giant fishing boats
almost destroyed commercial fishing
in the North Atlantic, and how timely
government limits enabled the sea to
come alive again.
Regarding striped bass, the federal gov
ernment has been reluctant to intrude
into coastal fishing regulation, tradition
ally a matter of states' rights. But bass are
careless about crossing state jurisdictions,
as is pollution. So as this column is being
written, Congress appears about to pass
legislation that would impose a morato
rium on striped-bass fishing in any coas
tal state that does not comply with wha
tever plan is developed by the Atlantic
States Marine Fisheries Commission.
This is utterly inadequate. The stakes
are great and the threatened asset is a
national asset, so Maryland's moratorium
should be national policy.
Maryland's action to protect an endan
gered species injures another great Ameri
can species the watermen, those fiercely
independent and admirable men who for
centuries have done the hard work of
Dulling protein from the productive waters.
What we have here Is a test of national
stewardship. It is profoundly unjust for
Maryland's watermen or other citizens
o pay the price of conserving a national
asset.
If the watermen's loss is to be tempor
ary, national action must be timely, and
should be generous toward, a breed of
men who did not create the problem they
are bearing the burden of solving.
MM, WrablagSan Poet Wsitera Group
13315
etters
Student calls far 'taking it easy '
Dear Fellow Students:
Come on buds, why does everybody seem so down on
everything? My proposal is to quit making fun of "fat
chicks" and start laying back and have fun by taking it
easy. A lot of us don't really know how good we have it
here in Lincoln as students, which is too bad! Let's quit
complaining and start partying!
P.S. Would one of the Daily Nebraskan staff please
int erview one of those "suspicious persons contacted by
officers" in the police report column? I think it would
make a great story.
. Ira M. Shapiro
junior
business administration
Offensive remarks anger student
Last Friday I had the pleasure of participating in the
Homecoming parade by riding on the float entered by
the International House. I enjoyed the ride and I must
say that the enthusiasm of the crowd was the biest
thrill cf the event. But, as happens in so many cases, the
great crowd had a few rotten apples in it.
International House (or I-House) is an organization
for U.S. students who want to get to know foreign stu
dents and to help foreign students adjust to our lifestyle.
I-Kouse consists of two floors in the Neihardt Residence
Hall on the UNL campus, but one need not live there to
be a member. I represent the non-resident members
(affectionately called outhousers) in I-House's govern
ing council.
For the parade we had a truck pulling a flatbed trailer
on which members of I-IIouse rode, some dressed in
their native attire. The crowd, as I said, was very friendly
and the most enjoyable part of the parade, with a few
exceptions. Some people along the route were shouting
remarks about foreign students, and foreigners in gen
eral, as our float passed by them. "We don't want you"
and "Go back to your home country" are examples of
these comments. I also noticed many gestures, such as
slanting of eyes, which were made to insult or make fun
of foreigners.
I lived for six months in Colombia and have visited
Spain and Morocco, but at no time did I receive this type
of treatment. Why is it then that people from ether
countries receive this treatment here? People like this
give America, net to mention Nebraska, a bad name.
People like this give Americans the stereotype of being
these remarks and gestures, is this the image we want of
uuraeives: wnai is uie rationale for doing what you aiu.
Are you unable to accept something different than what
you're used to? Why do you feel that it is wrong for these
people (yes, they are people) to be here? Aren't you
proud that they chosa to come to our country and our
university to get an education? Where is your human
dignity?
I'm sick and tired of the United States being consi
dered a country full of Archie Bunkers. I am also sick
and tiied of seeing foreigners in this country being
treated so poorly. These people are human beings, with
twn
can be hurt. I love this country of ours, and I'm proud to
be an American. Hilt it rnffllrcua mo resnr onifrv when our
own citizens sf nr 1 filings 01 i
those unlike us.
Nathan J. Strong
senior
geography