WGBH Journal; Willie Sanders
Good evening and welcome to GBH Journal I'm Amy sands. Tonight Willie Sanders gathers new support from Boston religious and black legislative leaders and emergency town meeting in Cambridge on starvation in Cambodia. Henrietta Davis profiles student groups fighting racism in Boston schools a Boston area attorney and a disabled sheet metal worker found an organization for workers disabled on the job.
And finally Louis Lyons on the Nobel Peace Prize Peace Prize all of that right after a look at the local news.
A member of a congressional committee investigating radiation dangers at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard today said a massive cover up is being perpetrated by the US government. Dr. Owen brass today charged the Navy the National Cancer Institute and U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy with unfairly trying to discredit the results of a two year old investigation of radiation dangers at the shipyard. Brown says one of eight scientists named by Congress to ensure the fairness of a government study on those radiation dangers he has requested an investigation into the cover up charges by the FBI. A lawyer for the parents of Leukemia victim Chad Greene said today that doctors from San Diego San Diego will do an autopsy to find out the cause of death of the 3 year old boy William Ginsburg told a news conference the autopsy will be done in Tijuana by Mexican doctors and by doctors from the San Diego County coroner's office just north of the border city. The autopsy may be completed by Tuesday and the boy's body will then be flown to Hastings Nebraska the child's birthplace for burial. Ginsburg said he has advised Gerald and Diana green John's parents to return to Massachusetts after the funeral and face whatever charges are pending. The western Massachusetts electric company announced plans today to seek a rate increase from the State Department of Public Utilities. The company hasn't determined the dollar value of the rate hike application. The company serves about one hundred sixty six thousand customers in the western part of the state. It blamed inflation and the energy crisis on its plans to seek higher rates from its customers. Governor Edward Jay king appointed an unsuccessful Republican gubernatorial aspirant and namesake Edward f king a ranking conservative as chairperson of the Boston Finance Commission today. Edward f king and doors Democrat Edward J King for governor when he lost the GOP nomination to Representative Francis W. Hatch of Beverley in a bitterly fought 978 party primary. The thin come as it is called is a potentially powerful watchdog agency over Boston's fiscal affairs and that's the local news.
We're going to run. With Josh here. Without attachments of sympathy or. Whether this individual is black white or brown. And we do not see justice. In this case.
The Reverend James Coleman of the Concord Baptist Church in Roxbury was one of at least six black and white ministers who came out in support of Willie Sanders today. Sanders as a black Dorchester resident arrested as the alleged Allston Brighton rapist last winter after eight women were raped in that community over a period of six weeks. Sanders was later charged with four of those rapes since his arrest significant questions have been raised about his guilt and a vigorous defense committee had formed several months ago to publicize his case. Today Sanders won important support as not only the ministers but also the Massachusetts Legislative Black Caucus spoke out on his behalf. Representative Mel King compared police handling of Sandra's case with their handling of the murders of 13 Boston black women last winter and spring when the women were married.
It was only stated that they were isolated instances where the issues of racial violence have taken place in this city. There have always been isolated instances. Any time there is an impact on people of color they are isolated incidents. We was what happened to the women who were why they were the work of one person. I think.
I think it is important that people understand contracts under which we live in a very racist and oppressive representative milking the Willie Sanders defense committee has been particularly critical of how the Allston Brighton police obtained identifications of Sanders charging that not one of the women raped was able to positively identify Sanders as the rapist until after his picture was on television and in the newspapers at the press conference today Sonny Robinson of the defense committee said that the police also used direct suggestion to one woman during the mid-February lineup in which Sanders was identified by four women.
We are talking about what we know about the continuous subtle and direct manipulation of women so that in fact it was clear that there was only one possible choice that they were to pick out at the lineup. We know in fact that one woman for example left the line up saying she could not make the identification. The police then said to her it's either number one or number three. She then returned to the lineup room and in that case said it's number one and that was in fact the position that Mr. Sanders held in the line. That it is as in just what is happening to Mr. Sanders in terms of being railroaded. It is equally in just in terms of the way women so severely violated by a rape are being used to bolster a case that in fact has no basis.
Meanwhile in the first pretrial hearing in the case Sanders lawyer Max Stern today took the offensive and moved to have all charges against Sanders dismissed on the basis of alleged police misconduct and prejudicial pretrial publicity. Stern charged that even in arresting Sanders police had acted illegally and he aired several TV news tapes of Sandra's case in open court to bolster his contention that police had manipulated the media against Sanders. Little out of substance happened in the courtroom today as assistant district attorney Sandra Hamlin engaged in only minor skirmishes with Stern over the questioning of a witness. We'll have more on the case later in the week. Just about one hour from now an emergency town meeting on Cambodia will begin at the Old South Church in Boston focusing on the very own publicized issue of mass starvation in the war torn Southeast Asian nation. The meeting is being sponsored by Oxfam America and the American Friends Service Committee.
Greg Fitzgerald prepared this preview of tonight's meeting unless emergency supplies are provided in the next six months. Millions are going to die. I think it's purely the simple humanitarian issue.
According to reports from Oxfam field personnel close to 3 million Cambodians are now close to death because of starvation during the past decade because of American bombing expeditions and internal wars. Three million Cambodians have already died and the children of Cambodia who have survived American saturation bombing and internal political struggles are now dying of starvation. Eighty percent of them near death. Only recently Western journalists and humanitarian organizations have been allowed to travel in Cambodia and the reports they are bringing back portray a picture of a grim more devastating in the concentration camps of Germany during the war. With that in mind Oxfam America and the American Friends Service Committee have launched a worldwide campaign to raise 50 million dollars to feed and support the starving Cambodians. John Warner is the special assistant on Asian affairs at Oxfam America. This afternoon he detailed some of the reports coming back from Cambodia and what Oxfam will attempt to accomplish in the coming months.
I think you have to trace back historically to what has happened. A lot of people have pointed to the fact that Cambodia was bombed heavily by the United States. And after that the party regime took over and they did sort of a mass purging of anybody to create a pure society. They exterminated intellectuals they destroyed all symbols of 20th century life. Yes zero. And they killed just a lot of people in what is described as another Holocaust. Another problem given this is that agricultural production has just been completely destroyed. Less than 5 percent or around 5 to 10 percent and no estimates are difficult of of land is on the cultivation now.
People just been too hungry to and they've eaten the sea the seeds a lot of reporters and observers are comparing the events taking place in Cambodia. With us footage and with the whole pod room that took place around World War Two and Germany's. From your perspective is that a reasonable comparison.
Unfortunately it is. We've gotten reports of that shows skeletons close of of the victims all piled up. Even a clear record of age names of people who were who were killed. It just seemed to have been done very systematically So in that sense I think it's it's just it's about. And certainly the numbers also indicate that it was a it was a massive very sadistic operation cargo planes began shipments of food and other relief supplies into Phnom Penh yesterday.
But UNICEF organizers still fear that a famine may be impossible to stop. Aside from the relief that Oxfam hopes to supply in the coming weeks the U.S. has pledged seven million dollars in aid while a congressional debate on an additional 30 million has just begun. UNICEF and the Red Cross have received international pledges of more than one hundred ten million. Again tonight emergency town meeting on Cambodia is being held at the Old South Church in Copley Square. Beginning at 7:30 for GBH Journal Greg Fitzgerald.
Employers in Massachusetts are reporting that over 200 and 35000 on the job injuries occur each year among their employees. There are many more work related injuries that occur and are never reported because of this lack of information. Thousands of workers are not receiving the full benefits they are entitled to under workman's compensation Social Security or other disability programs. A Boston area attorney and a disabled sheet metal worker organized a meeting several weeks ago to grapple with these problems or has more as it currently stands.
The Massachusetts Compensation Act provides a disabled worker with two thirds of their average pay up to a maximum of two hundred eleven dollars per week. The rate in existence when a worker is disabled is the amount she or he receives for life. For example workers disabled since one thousand forty nine continue to receive thirty dollars per week because of low funding and huge backlog. The Massachusetts industrial accident board takes an inordinate amount of time to resolve cases. There are 12 commissioners to hear cases on the board and 12000 claims per year. The law provides that a hearing will take place within 28 days of an injury. But the average claim takes three months before the first conference in Boston and up to eight or nine months. Elsewhere in Massachusetts. It is both a low disability rates and the lengthy procedures that have led Boston area attorney Bob Schwartz to fight the compensation law and the procedures in Massachusetts.
There's nothing in the act that forces insurance companies act in a fair and decent way towards employees when they make their claims in a fast way and act in an honest way. And what the insurance companies generally do is turn down many many valid claims and delay and many many others and hope that as a result of this delay the employees will get more and more desperate for some money and out of that pressure will arrange what's called a lump sum settlement.
Compensation lawyers often encourage their clients to settle privately with insurance companies because a settlement guarantees the lawyers their fees. Often the settlement is far less than what a disabled worker would receive from a favorable hearing decision for workers with serious injuries. The hearing procedure is often lengthy and humiliating. Here is the story of one such worker Paul Murray who settled his claim to have been a construction worker all my life.
This has been my life. My knowledge of how to make a living is all of all around being in the Shimano train. Now I would go to the mass rehab and I have an interview with a counsellor at the mass rehab. And we're discussing my PO turnstiles. So when she asked me what I'm going to do. Right off the bat I'm thinking she meant home because that's all I know really well. The things that I was that we were proposing to both of us and she had a lot of input as to what I could do. I was kind of going along with it not realizing that I still have lost the use of the feet for any standing for any length of time or for walking. And then if I could through even the germs that she and I were proposing I could go back to work. But now and this is very traumatic for someone who's really her for the first time it's it's like starting all over again. Now my reason for telling this is now I go before a commission and all the things that were discussed at the manse rehab as to what I can draw. I presented to the commissioner in front of the insurance companies are trying to answer the things that I did which I thought were in confidence with the manse rehab. I'm now presented against me at the industrial ranks and I'm bored. I lump sum is just as attorney Schwartz has told you. It's a case of putting you off putting off putting off. Now I had borrowed his much as I could. And without starting to lose the things that I had were 30 years for so I came to a point where I had to numb some. There was no more it wasn't a case of whether I was told me to save them. That didn't enter into it. Not in my situation my situation was survival.
A book was recently published by the mass Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health called injured on the job to help disabled workers and inform them of their legal rights for further information about the book or information about the Massachusetts organization for disabled workers. Call 4 8 2 4 2 8 3 for GBH Journal. This is pap Bodner.
For the last two weeks ever since the shooting of a black football player Darryl Williams black high school students have staged a series of demonstrations at City Hall to protest racism in their schools. Sometimes individual students have spoken eloquently other times such as at the last meeting the students had with mayoral aides. The students seem disorganized but always they have been eager to participate and make their voices heard. Henrietta Davis has spent some time talking with several black and white students in Boston. She filed this report.
One group of students which is behind the scenes of student participation is the Boston high school student coordinators. This is a group of students who are hired by the school department to set up student councils in the 1500s cools. They also set up subcommittees such as the racial ethnic student council in each school and they also help to set up a citywide Student Advisory Council. Rose Paul is the coordinator of Brighton high school. She started working at Brighton high this fall and has set up the student council there as well as an aria S. She feels that some headmasters are supportive of students and some aren't but that most decisions made in the schools are adult oriented.
Well at least from my experience my headmaster he was very happy about it. I think some headmasters are willing to work they want to see something student but I think it's just a tradition that only adults fool the thing into schools. Only adults know like the school committee. Anything that they do is or in order to please the adults they never think of pleasing the students some of the principals really want students to start getting their rights. But a lot of them are just following tradition. They're not supportive because tradition has been that it's off for the adults not than for the studio.
One image I have a student councils is that they they get class rings and then yearbooks and have bake sales and things like that and they that they're not so much concerned with issues you know like it seems like the coordinators are more issue oriented.
We are. We're concerned more with what's going on with the school and things like that because just like Western Council this year they want it you know to rush and have up so I just did things I had to do in two weeks and I finished my dinner right. You know but it was like to me too little time to organize something like that because all they really wanted to spend most of them. So what we have to try to do is encourage them to think of what's going on in school. Not only that they want to raise money to tap parties and stuff like that. So I think that's really what we're trying to get them more towards issue instead of fund raising.
One way that coordinators feel that they might be helpful outside their own schools is by passing on their organizational skills to students such as those who met with Mayor White last week.
The coordinators have offered their help to students involved with this meeting because as Ross Paula says she feels that they would have a better chance of being heard if they are organized like that meeting with me or if they had really I think it was organized to a point where they knew what they wanted to say and what they want to come out of the meeting. But they didn't know how to put it in tact. So I think that we could do so help them put it into action and you know organize it in a way that they don't get into fights or arguments like you said in newspapers that they were screaming and yelling.
That is only going to a point where you get mad but you can control it and you know you have to control it so you get something out of me within the school's racial problems are addressed by a variety of adults teachers headmasters and others on the student level responsibility for dealing with racial problems rest with a group which is organized in each school by the coordinators. That's the racial ethnic Student Advisory Council. The R E A C is made up of six black six white six Hispanic and six Chinese students in each school. This group of 24 when it is effective and that is not uniformly true throughout the city's high schools intervenes to relieve racial tension.
Isabel Rosario of Copley high school comments were vision problems occur and then school day like set up meetings to try to solve the problems like they have been to a black and white fight and in this cost the big thing what they said to me they said well how can we hope to swipe poses its black. How can we help this black or this person and then they set up meetings in the church to talk to those who need to have thought of this problem I mean there are two people fighting when they bring the two people to the Arias. Yes they will bring them and I asked them questions about you know why they doing this they want to racial harmony. And if they do they have no other means to convince this kid that he is just crazy. It's not soon I don't think it should happen when a person's a person is white or black.
That is fair since there are only six of nine thousand coordinators hired throughout the city so far. Obviously the student coordinators are not operating at their peak. But those who are working now are optimistic that when all 19 of them are hired which they expect to happen the next month they will be able to move student government and student representation forward for GBH Journal. I'm Henrietta Davis.
Alliance's next comments on the Nobel Prize.
Five more Nobel awards in physics in chemistry brought to modern day the Harvard physicist. But still especially fascinating is the star behind last week's Nobel Prize in Medicine shared by a British engineer for a musical instrument. And a Tufts college physicist. The revolution in medicine they claim for their invention of the cat banner was a spinoff from their primary research. They separately worked it out neither knew of the other's work. Jeffrey hounds field in England was engaged in pioneer work in solid state computers in 1967 when the idea came to him. It had come to Allen comic three years earlier as he was exploring the theoretical possibility how developing a 360 degree picture of the human body through X-rays. That's what the CAT scan will do explore in the finest detail the deepest organs and provide a picture. That's your blueprint for diagnosis or operation. How unfair now 60 never went to college. Komik has no advantage to gry his discovery says taps president John Mayer is the best example that pure science has enormous payoffs.
The CAT scan I was first built in England by Hans Field's firm and introduced in this country in 1973. There are now over 11 hundred spread over the United States four in Boston but 17 in Kansas City. This kind of concept $200000 to install in a hospital then $500000 a year to operate. So it's possible only for the greatest hospitals. It's wondrous capacity to discover all secrets of the end of body has saved many lives but it adds to the acute problem of medical costs. Many new hospitals were government financed out of the Hill-Burton Act of the flourishing 1950s. Now in this budget cutting your government policy is to close many hospitals that are not fully used AGW figures that the economical use of the CAT scanner requires its twenty five hundred cases a year. So far hospitals use it for only fifteen hundred to 2000 cases. The cost figures of the CAT scan I will accelerate the movement to reduce or consolidate the number of hospitals just as it will create massive new support for Senator Kennedy's national health bill. It emphasizes the importance of such a plan as Dr. David Wright Steyn of the Harvard School of Public Health and Dr. Jacob find of Beth Israel have been advocating for development of systems of hospital care each centering on a major metropolitan hospital equipped for every medical need with feeder our satellite hospitals capable of providing for all but the most serious sicknesses which they would send to the central hospital. It's a big step toward such economical and efficient hospital service is just announced in New York City where two of its largest finest hospital the Roosevelt and St. Luke's emerging the new center has voluntarily agreed under the New York state health program to reduce its annual operating budget by 4 percent. Where we charge Spittal separately had been operating at a loss. Their merger they say will eliminate duplicating services increase their efficiency and offer programs on a regional basis. The 4 percent promised reduction in cost as a shop break away from the inflationary increases that have led President Carter to seek a mandatory limit on hospital costs of 9 percent a year. All right Rod system is being resuscitated on Amtrak by a somewhat parallel process to H.E. double use for hospitals. Amtrak is even cutting out the main lines and not being prevalent enough to pay the granddaughter came up from Pennsylvania last week to see her brother play soccer at hiving. She asked about the possibility of taking a train back to Philadelphia because it aged 21. She never had ridden on a train. So with considerable telephoning she found out when a train was leaving and how to get on it she can tell her grandchildren she rode on a train. Amtrak's task is to restore our motor travel let it been allowed to become obsolete freeways in airports were built with public funds while rail systems failed. Towns that it flourished with trains whether it is the auto open new developments far from a depot and Amtrak has veiled government ownership delayed a generation too long and then adopted generally only after the failure of the private lines. As with our subways the ideological bugaboo let Iran roads fall apart before doing anything about them. The red dot in the collector's puzzlingly unique to the United States where distance would seem to promote train travel more than in such smaller countries as England where trains all parts of the country where the expected efficiency and comfort commentator the reliance.
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