WGBH Journal; Eastern Airlines; FBI
Good evening and welcome to GBH Journal I'm Amy stands at Logan Airport in East Boston residents are added again. This time it's not noise or pollution but jobs. Greg Fitzgerald will report. Meanwhile years after the arrest and trial of Susan Saks the FBI intensifies its search for her alleged companion Kathy powers and is charged with harassment. On a lighter note women in Boston set a record time in yesterday's Bonnie Bell Road Race and feminist author Alex Cates showmen discusses her latest book and the latest trends in the feminist movement.
On tonight's GBH Journal. But first a look at the news. While Senator Edward Brooke was busy campaigning yesterday the issue of his finances surfaced again. The Senate Ethics Committee disclosed yesterday that it will not complete its investigation into Brooke's finances until after the November 7th election. In a brief statement the committee said that all the information requested by the committee's special counsel has not been received and examined among the things the counsel is seeking. Our official microfilm bank records of Brooke's checking account from the First National Bank of Boston and tapes of interviews the senator had with The Globe Spotlight team in May. U.S. Representative Paul Tsongas who is seeking Brooks congressional seat responded to the committee's announcement by saying this raises very serious public policy questions specifically the public's right to know. The other Massachusetts senator is trying to build support for his national health insurance plan over which he has split with President Carter. Senator Edward M. Kennedy opened public hearings yesterday in order to dramatize the plight of Americans who cannot afford doctor's bills. His Senate Subcommittee on Health will hear two more days of testimony from various labor leaders the American Medical Association and just of California secretary of AGW. On a local level 8 Democratic state legislators and four members of the Black Caucus today jumped ship and endorsed GOP representative Francis W. Hatch for governor. The group which included Representative Barney Frank and James Siegel criticised Edward J King the Democratic nominee and said he has demonstrated either an incredible ignorance of government or a reluctance to face the hard choices needed to cut government spending. The group followed the lead of Jerome Grossman the liberal member of the Democratic National Committee and Barbara Ackerman a loser in a bid for the gubernatorial nomination. The Supreme Court today agreed to hear a claim that the Massachusetts law placing veterans above all applicants for civil service jobs discriminates against women. The case reached the high court after a three judge U.S. district court found in 1076 and 978 that the statute is unconstitutional because it denies women an equal opportunity to get state jobs. Most states have some form of veteran's preference. However most use a qualification point system instead of an absolute preference. The 21 anti-nuclear protesters arrested at Seabrook Saturday continued a hunger strike today. The Clamshell Alliance spokesperson said the protesters are being held in lieu of $100 bail and are not eating because they think they should be released in their own recognizance. In July Eastern Airlines announced plans to locate a three million dollar telephone reservations terminal for the airline at Logan Airport Eastern is already the biggest tenant at Logan and is not well-liked by neighboring residents who must tolerate the noise of the airport. The decision to locate this terminal at Logan initially was seen as a positive one by both the airline and local residents. Since the center will create as many as 300 jobs half of which could be available after Easter as internal interviews are conducted. The allocation of these positions has already developed into a controversy however. Residents of nearby communities began to lobby Eastern to allot 50 of these jobs to welfare recipients who are eligible for on the job training legal and financial problems have left this request at a standstill. Reporter Greg Fitzgerald has more.
Late this summer when the news of the terminal began to circulate around the neighborhoods a number of community groups began to undertake a lobbying effort to assure that at least a share of the new positions would go to community residents especially those residents who have been chronically unemployed or under-employed parents on welfare. One such community group began to discuss with Eastern the possibility of a guarantee of 50 jobs to welfare parents who have little formal training but lots of practical experience that could be plugged into the position of a reservationist. But what kind of motivation would Eastern airlines need to hire 50 welfare recipients whose employment experience would otherwise exclude them from the positions eastern was seeking. One such incentive is the work incentive program. A federally funded stated ministered on the job training program which subsidizes business for training and maintaining employees who receive Aid to Families with Dependent Children. Immediately parents on welfare attempted to use the Win program as a tool to persuade Eastern that there was little to be lost and lots to be gained by using on the job federal training money for neighborhood welfare recipients in mid August Eastern public affairs officer Richard Burr that met with parents on welfare to discuss the conditions and legal ramifications of a work incentive contract. After meeting with the parents burned out according to Natalie Sneiderman backed off from the proposal and instead urged welfare parents to apply individually at easterns personnel office. Neighborhood reaction was bitter to Easterns proposal and again a meeting was set up between eastern corporate officials and welfare parents. This time Eastern officials told the parents they would need more time to study the work incentive program to explore what's legal and precedential problems the program could pose for Easterns existing hiring procedures. Presently Eastern executives refuse comment on how or when their decision will be made until they receive more information. But he said his decision whether or not to negotiate a work incentive contract may be precluded by comments made by Richard Sullivan the director of the work instead of program in Massachusetts. In an interview last week Sullivan explained the details of the work incentive program and how it is managed by the Massachusetts Department of Employment Security. The program normally does not lobby for large numbers of jobs but instead looks at smaller businesses which require one or two trainees usually male heads of households and an even more important factor says Sullivan is the scope of the funding of the federal program.
Our capacity in the total Boston area in the whole next year will be. We have enough financial resources to write only about 220 OJT contracts in the whole city. All right. So first of all we're not we don't have an unending amount of resources and therefore that would limit as I said I can talk about one particular point but it certainly would limit our ability to target save one quarter of all of our resources training resources in the whole city to one particular employer. So that would be one limitation if an employer came and said I want 50 people I'd like to hire a hundred people.
That's a major rationale in doing our contracts. One of the time. OK that's number one. Secondly I think with the class you're talking about I'm sure there are some people there who could go in and be trained in a relatively short time to do some of the kinds of work so the work that that you mention this employer is interested that they wouldn't need a long term on the job training contract we have you know thousands of people every year hired without any contract employee I would say I have a training program I'm not interested in government subsidy for that training program we have a good one. If there are other if they're interested in they've got potential for the work. We'll take them right on at no cost. They might we might encourage them to seek a tax credit which employers can also do if they hire somebody through our program. But they might say thanks anyway I don't need that additional money.
Why don't you give it to an employer who doesn't have a training program doesn't have facilities and it is going to cost him a lot to hire somebody. I have found resistance from when we've talked to employers about hiring any group of people whether they're veterans unemployed. Well first of peons unemployment insurance recipients or any group sight unseen what the employers are saying yes our company is interested and accessing good people. We are certainly considering unemployment insurance recipients or well first opinions of minorities whatever. But we're interested in obviously.
One of the times and that's been our production that's that's been successful although better parents on welfare were not totally surprised with Sullivan's reaction to their proposal. Natalie Sneiderman commented that the winde program has historically ignored the quote of Glee unemployed and that the Eastern case is just another example of the welfare tracking system.
We received no help at all from the wind program. It's like you want to go out and get your own jobs. Go ahead. We're not going to be any part of that.
You want to make the interviews clearest So your clients can understand it. Well you do what you teach them because we're not going to do it. And this is why in mind we have to say. The damn program was just set up to intimidate and to give people a lot of hassles and to hold some kind of threat over them and to basically funnel people into. You know no future jobs underemployed yob so that they basically always dependent on the wealthiest system. And that's if the are even funneled into anything otherwise a large majority just filed away the outcome of the Eastern reservations controversy is now in the airline's hands.
Since it seems unlikely that the when program a lobby for more than a handful of contract jobs used you will have to hire and train without federal help. The remainder of the 50 jobs parents on welfare are demanding Natalie Sneiderman is now seeking the spiritual guidance of Eastern President Frank Borman.
You know the president of the students Frank Borman. He went to them home and he took a chance and he's breaking new ground. I don't want to but we've been saying to to Brigette is you know now now we're on the ground and you want to contribute something to society will start healing when parents for GBH Journal.
I'm Greg Fitzgerald.
A group of Boston area feminists who have been active in support of Susan Sachs are charging the FBI with harassment in their search for anti-war activist Cathy power. Power is accused of participating with Susan Saxon in 1071 bank robbery. She has been underground for eight years and the FBI unexpectedly stepped up its hunt for her this summer offering a $10000 reward which likes to refer to as an offer of payment for information on power's whereabouts. But according to Brian Aronson of the Susan Sachs defense committee the FBI hasn't left it at that.
Agents have called or visited at least two women in the Boston area including Aronson herself the method of their contacts vary from calling people up on the phone to tell them about the renewed investigation and the reward just in case we wanted to know about it. To going to peoples houses and threatening them.
Did they call you. Yeah they called me. I wasn't home. A friend of mine took the message told I mean essentially very brief What was the message. Well he just he called and he said he want to talk to me and that he said well before you hang up tell I don't want to ask anything I just want to tell or something. So my roommate managed to get out. It's too bad you can't do something else for a living and hung up on him. However I called him back the next day and he for about 25 minutes without me saying anything except manage to go on about the reward but they're wishing for a cafe and though he wasn't implying that I knew anything about her whereabouts or anything on the other hand he wanted me to know about it.
So you want me to tell Susan about reward Susan saxes and Sax who was in prison and that just in case she was in touch with Kathy she ought to tell Kathy to turn herself in because the FBI guy said that he feels that since there's no evidence against Kathy Kathy could make a good deal with the state and get it over with and after all she's been running for eight years and she's afraid of a bullet in her back every day and let me just add this whole rap.
And then there was a woman in Boston who. Got visited by the FBI it was a very freaky experience some kids let them in actually into her apartment building. And so when she opened the door this was like face to face with them. They were verbally mildly abusive I guess I'm trying what do you mean by that. Well they were a bit threatening but they didn't threaten the grand jury they just told her that she had to talk to them and it's a very have experience to have agents of the government come to your door especially if it's the first time.
Telling you to talk to them and you knowing that you don't have to but one of them. You know what kind of problems are going to happen if you don't in fact talk to them. You don't have to talk to the FBI. No. You have actually no obligation whatsoever to talk to the FBI as a matter of fact it's a very good idea not to talk to the FBI. One of the things that happens is once they talk to you the first time and if you in fact give them any information they come back for more. I mean the first absolutely clearest thing to do when they come is just say I have nothing to say and don't open the door tell them to go away tell them to call your lawyer. You know any kind of really negative thing like that but don't talk to them.
AARONSON says FBI harassment of sacks and power supporters began before the bureau's August reward announcement and extends outside Boston. Women in Kentucky Philadelphia and Connecticut as well as Aaronson herself had their phone records subpoenaed by grand juries last winter. Aronson believes those records were turned over to the FBI.
Our first notification that there was an increase in overt activity by the FBI over harassment goes back probably to last June. And then in June I got a letter from Bell Telephone Company telling me that my telephone toll records had been subpoenaed by a grand jury sitting in Boston with a subpoena had come in December 6 months before they turned my record over to the grand jury and that along with that piano had come. A non notification notice which is something that the law allows for a 90 day period telling them not to tell me that my records are been subpoenaed for 90 days and then after the 90 day period it got renewed.
So in fact I didn't get notified till 6 months later and so I sent out notices to everybody that had been on those phone bills for six months and within a couple of days some friends of mine in Philadelphia called saying that they had received my letter and in two days had received their own letter this one indicating that it was being turned over to a grand jury but it didn't say which grand jury. And there are three women who have been very active in work around Susan Sachs. When Susan go to rest in Philadelphia and since then there are also women that have been very active in work against Grand Jury abuse. What will the FBI do with phone records for instance. Assuming that a grand jury would turn the records over to the FBI. Well interestingly enough the FBI in some cases is getting the records before the grand jury is the case in Philadelphia. The Bell Telephone said to the women whose records were subpoenaed that the subpoena came through the district court in Pennsylvania and that they turned the records. They Bell Telephone turn the records over to the FBI. Yes it's supposed to go to grand jury but FBI of course are interstate messengers so they get the material from one to carry from one state to another state. Grand jury isn't going to do anything with these phone records. My guess and I would and I think it's fairly accurate is that all these phone records are going to computer someplace that they're being cross checked to see who knows whom. How often you talk to them how close a friend you are who you called once you found out that certain events were happening. It's infuriating it's infuriating that they can do it and at all and in fact they can. It's infuriating that they can do it without you knowing about it so that you don't have an opportunity to go into a courtroom and fight the subpoena. And it's also infuriating that for a 13 cent stamp which is how much postage was when mine got subpoenaed they can get all the information they would never give them. I mean they can find out who my friends are who I'm in touch with how often I talk to them maybe even where I've been because sometimes when you're out of town you call places and charge it to your home phone. I mean there's a tremendous amount of information that's on the toll billing records. And it's been challenged in court over and over again in this case going up the Supreme Court now and the courts keep holding that those records are not your records those records or Bell Telephone companies records that you have no right to privacy because the telephone records.
Byrne Aronson Frank Kerr of the FBI Boston office refused to say whether a grand jury had given him information from the phone records of Susan Saks defense committee members. However a spokesperson for the U.S. attorney's office which oversees grand jury proceedings told me it's not an unusual thing for that kind of information to be turned over to the bureau. The remaining question is why the FBI has suddenly intensified its search for Kathy power. Is it merely a routine procedure as the FBI insists. Or is the bureau dragnet in for information on radical feminists right now. It's a matter of speculation. Yesterday over forty five hundred women in the second race the 10000 started on Charles Street in Boston and continued to the Charles River and over the Longfellow and Harvard bridges and back to Boston Public Garden via Commonwealth Avenue. All of the five winners were from out of town. Most of the racers were from the Boston area but spoke today with Dowd of Brighton who ran and finished the race.
There were there were about forty five hundred women running this race which is an extremely popular and well-known race they were that that with a record number that have that many women running in this race which I guess is becoming well right that the Boston Marathon is my remarkable.
Yes you didn't have to qualify for this. Which did make it easier. Unlike the Boston marathon where you have to qualify us under a certain time. But I heard that they turned away two thousand people that wanted to enter this and they they said that they couldn't take any more than forty five hundred as far as the size of the streets went. And all but it's amazing to think that there were sixty five hundred women out there somewhere that were willing to run in this just in this area. I was amazed at the the size of the field that they had I didn't think there were that many women running. Never mind racing but a lot of women don't want to enter a race where they are going to be men. They figure that it's much greater competition. It's safer to run with women for the first race anyway. It's a great ego boost you realize you can do it and then once you've done one with women you can do. You can race with men as well.
I was talking with someone else who ran in yesterday's race and she was talking about that spirit of can. Hang in here the camaraderie that existed that did that was that true for you as well. Yes I think so there. Even if it's not your first race you still feel it's a special race. This on a much different spirit than than any other race. The women all support each other whether it's your first race or your one hundredth race. You're just as excited and you're just as excited for the woman who finishes it in an hour and 45 minutes is the one who does it. Thirty three minutes it's very very supportive atmosphere.
And you think this should be maintained is that not such a competitive race but as a race for first timers and.
Yes definitely it's it is competitive for you that's the thing with racing anyway is that you tend to compete against unless you're one of the real biggies. You tend to compete against yourself. And so it's competitive only as far as you're concerned with yourself you try to beat a certain time that you've set up for yourself but not go out there. You're not looking at the other people as enemies or anything they're running companions in effect and someone else coming in from Russia was running with an 8 year old was there a large range of ages running. There certainly were. I guess there was a 77 year old woman who completed it but. The youngest I don't know I saw a little girl who looked about four. I saw at the start I'm not I didn't see her at the finish but she could very easily have made it. Amazingly a few 7 or 8 year olds passed me so I guess they're they're in pretty good shape.
And so here now we have a race that I guess technically excludes men though I have been told that there were some men running right it would have been your reactions to or men that you talked with would have their reactions to the fact that they are excluded.
Technically I guess you know a lot of men take it poorly. I think that they're upset that they can't run and that they not that they would want to run in this race that much. But there are so many races to choose from but that they think that it's not fair it's sort of the reverse of what happened previously when women couldn't run distances weren't allowed to understand them and I think that. It should be kept this way however because a lot of women wouldn't run in it to begin with. If there were men allowed. They just see them as too much competition and they'd be afraid to run in it. So this way they get the women out there. There were I was amazed at the number of spectators along the fire line. Many more than last year and I think that a good percentage of the women that were watching the race this year are going to be running it next year or will try to enter anyway and I think that that that what's important is that more and more people get out there and try it and see if they like it and if they do keep it up.
Novelist Alix Kates Shulman has written about growing up female in America and her bestseller The morals of an ex prom queen. Now in her second book burning questions she writes about becoming a feminist revolutionary during the 1950s in America.
Shulman spoke with NPR's Diane Trombley in the first wave of feminism in the late 19th century when women first started to struggle for equal rights for women and wound up getting the vote for women. That whole movement was somehow forgotten for a while in the 50s. There was the word feminism didn't even exist. Somehow it was wiped out. I wanted to get this down so it wouldn't be wiped out and I think that fiction is a way of making. Experience accessible to people too much. A much wider audience and frequently than nonfiction people have a lot of funny ideas about the women's liberation movement. On the one hand they think nowadays they think it's just a bunch of fairly well-off fashionable career women out for themselves. Now that's totally false. If you are applying it to the people who got this movement off the ground to those radicals who really committed to social change for everybody they were just out for themselves. Now on the other hand people have the idea that oh those radical feminists were just a bunch of crazy bra burners and that they were storm around in store in boots and they're ready to throw bombs. That's totally false too. And I wanted to show in my novel the truth. I don't think that there's any way of our making change unless we grapple with the truth and accept what that movement was really about. So in the late 60s. When that passion and that spirit were animating so many people to change their lives yes it was utopian. Yes people in those movements thought that they could bring about the revolution in their decade into their life and of course history is much too resistant to roll over like a dog and play Did you know you can't do it just by a short term effort. But I still think it's very important to get down exactly what that was like so that we can benefit from those mistakes and go well and do better the next time. Now I think that something has happened to the women's movement that happened and it's turned to the black civil rights movement and that is that the principles are generally accepted in poll after poll we find the majority of Americans. Oh yes. Women should have equal rights but yet it is not passed. The backlash against the feminist gains of the last half dozen years is mounting. The forces are organized. They certainly do not reflect the majority opinion in this country as you say Poll after poll shows it. And yet they are well organized financed and vociferous. That's why I think it's so terribly important to stay in touch with those passions and principles that animated the early women's movement. Otherwise it can all be lost. I think that people have accepted the principles and assume that the want and gains have all been won. They assume that equality is at hand but unless we really struggle to keep these gains we'll lose them. OK you keep using the word passion to describe your feelings in the book and to describe what is needed in the movement how we lost our passion the organized political movements of the 60s are no in a time of decline. And that passion is something that builds in an upward motion. I think that it's difficult to generate right now but. Social Change won't occur without it.
Before we go we have a few reminders. First today is the last day that eligible voters may register in order to participate in the November 7th general election. So if you haven't registered you have until 10 o'clock tonight to do it. Also sundown marks the most solemn hours of the Jewish calendar. Many of the Jewish faithful will begin a period of fasting and repentance in observance of young Kapoor. The holiday is marked by the spirit of contrition and is said to be the day in which the ancient Hebrews were forgiven for worshipping a false god. The observance will end after sunset tomorrow and will be sounded by a ram's horn.
This transcript is machine-generated and has not been corrected. It is likely there will be errors.
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