WGBH Journal; Christmas In Wales
Good evening and welcome to GBH Journal I'm Amy sands. Tonight questions on whether Willie Sanders arrested in last winter's Allston Brighton rape still get a fair trial. A packed public hearing argues rent control in Boston. A report on an early warning system for arson and Louis Lyons ponders the importance of Carter's cabinet. All of that right after the local news. Massachusetts is still without a state budget today as Governor King continues to contemplate the 5.4 million dollar spending package which was delivered to his desk last school last week. Action from the governor had been expected today but a legislative aide contacted earlier said that King was still working on his budget recommendations. Meanwhile the Senate today gave final approval to to a bill which would reinstate the death penalty in Massachusetts. The bill now needs only routine anatman in both houses of the legislature before being sent to Governor King who is expected to sign the measure. A technical amendment was added to the bill today which in the words of its sponsor Arthur Lewis will guarantee that the bill not be overturned by the courts. Opponents to the death penalty have said that the bill cannot become law because it violates a state supreme court ruling which states
of the day that the death penalty is unconstitutional. A lawyer for the group mass law reform added that the technical amendment will not change the legal nature of the bill. Without a word of debate the Massachusetts House today rejected two of Governor King's welfare cost cutting measures with an estimated nine point three million dollars in savings. One bill would introduce a 15 percent discount on reimbursement to hospitals for escalating outpatient visits by Medicaid recipients. The other measure to discourage the overuse of some drugs would require Medicaid patients to contribute 50 cents toward the cost of selected prescriptions rejection of the bills was recommended by the legislature's health care committee and the report was accepted at an informal session with relatively few members present. These bills were part of a welfare package that King said could save 78 million dollars annually. A citizen activist group today warned of a winter heating oil crisis in Massachusetts. Leaders of fair share also singled out Shell Oil Company for quote putting profits
before social responsibility. The group called an oil company official and State Energy Office Director Joseph it's Patrick to sign contracts promising dealers deliveries of at least the same amount of heating oil that was supplied last year. This spring shell stop supplying heating oil to the northeast in Massachusetts 80 percent of the homes are heated with oil for the first time since 1969 it appears at the Massachusetts legislature will receive an increase in personal expense allowances. Yesterday the House overwhelmingly approved a doubling of their monthly allowance rate from 100 to 200 dollars per month. That figure represents a general expense increase for all legislators but an additional daily allowance increase allows for reimbursement based on the distance that each legislator must travel according to Jay headland executive director of Common Cause. The increase coupled with the assigning of legislative aides to all lawmakers will help to create more efficient functioning on Beacon Hill. Finally state gasoline deal dealers have temporarily taken their battle for higher profit margins away from the pumps and into the
political back rooms. But it appears that consumers will pay anyway. Meeting with Governor king's chief secretary Paul Gazi dealers received assurances that the governor will continue to support their push for gasoline decontrol. This week the dealers are frustrated by a federal Department of Energy ruling that allows an additional 5 cents per gallon profit which they say is nullified by other provisions in the ruling. Maurice Lang executive director of the Association says that regardless of the ruling he expects consumers to be paying over one dollar per gallon on regular gas by Labor Day. And that's the local news. I'm not saying those women weren't raped but I am saying they weren't raped by Willie Sanders.
So said Willie Sanders today as the case of the Commonwealth vs. Willie Sanders moved a step closer to trial. Sanders was arrested last February 1st as the alleged Allston Brighton rapist and was later charged with four out of a series of eight highly publicized rapes that occurred in Brighton during last November December and January. Today in Suffolk County Superior Court with a large crowd of Sandra's family and supporters present Sanders lawyer Mack Stern argued an unusual defense motion asking that all four rape cases be tried at once. Normally defense lawyers dealing with multiple charges prefer to have cases tried separately. That way jurors would assume guilt simply because the defendant before them is charged with so many crimes. But today attorney Stern argued that the potential jurors in this case Suffolk County residents are already prejudiced in that regard because of guilt because massive publicity surrounding Sanders arrest identified him as the quote Allston Brighton rapist implying he had committed all eight rapes. Winston Kendall explained this
point after the hearing Kendall is a Boston attorney active on the Willie Sanders Defense Committee. To be sure I'm not going to consider want. And I feel it because it was the media. That one night he would not betray would want to be trying to put a threat against us which are you feeling like the other three jurors even if they're not being tried actually right separate on whether they're going to be influenced by the responsible right. Almost from the moment of his arrest Sandra's case has attracted increasing attention in Boston's black
community and among some feminists some 30 of whom are now active in his defense committee. They are questioning in particular the process by which Sanders was identified as the rapist by four out of the eight women who were attacked. The identifications were made in a in police lineup shortly after Sanders arrest. But the defense committee says all four women were shown Sanders picture several weeks before his arrest. And did not identify him then. Magnolia Sanders who was Willie Sanders Sr. says intervening prejudicial published made the difference I think there were a lot of factors that contribute to them. I did my brother one be his picture was put over television before the lineup so people actually saw him his picture. So it was easier for them to pick him out there in the lineup as being the rapist Winston Kendall's as the defense can only bring out the question of identification if all four cases are tried at once. If you have more cases. Then all four victims will have to take the witness to testify to what
happened each and every one of them the defendant's counsel to the person each and every one of them about identification not me. Then you would be able to cross-examine I mean the defendant would not be being subpoenaed and asked you know how do you explain the fact that you would take us with you if I didn't fight you so we speak you have to write a book. Somebody has been arrested. So this is why for the fifth branch to be presented to have the focus is an assistant district attorney Sandra Hamlin who is prosecuting Sanders on behalf of the four women who were raped argued against the motion to consolidate the cases. She said there was no evidence all Suffolk County residents had watch TV listen to the radio or read newspapers during the time of the rapes and Sanders arrest. Therefore she said there was no evidence Sanders couldn't get a fair trial. Suffolk Superior Court Judge Francis Keating was obviously surprised by standers motion but there were no courtroom fireworks until he realized the 50 people packed into the spectator section
and then 25 more outside the door were there on Sanders be hath he angrily asked Sanders lawyer Max Stern if he had told the spectators to come. Stern replied he had not but the judge went on to accuse John of trying to influence his decision on the motion through the use of what the judge called quote mob psychology. The judge later took Sanders motion under advisement saying he would have a decision within two days for the preservation of rent control in their communities. The Alliance for rent control in Boston and the Cambridge rent control task force are gearing up for the November elections of their city
councils making their views on rent control known to their councillors and encouraging voters to vote only for those councillors who are for rent control and lost in the debate on rent control becoming rather heated especially after a public hearing held last night which by the roar describes in this report last night a public hearing on rent control was held at the Boston City Council chambers. An emotional crowd of more than 400 people came to express their concern about the fate of rent control in Boston. At this point rent control will expire on December 30 first of this year. Representatives from real estate interests spoke out in favor of rent control ending. They claim that rent control disrupts the creation of new housing stock because it's not economical to build apartments which will have regulated rents at a low level. According to George sly of the Rental Board housing task force rent control discourages a business climate for housing interests. Several years ago we alerted the city council that if rent control were to become a way of life in Boston that you could expect a good period in the rental housing stock.
It is now occurring through a variety of things. It is not yet converged in the condominium but it is mostly the fact that the supply of new housing is the gentleman alluded to has been entirely Kilgore Vampi to view the problem of one of the business climate by eliminating rent control you can tell the home building industry and the necessary counterpart in the area of planning and the burthen is serious about providing a climate where we can return to the business of providing decent housing for our citizens. In 1975 communities in Massachusetts voted to establish rent control Boston Cambridge and Brookline are still clinging to rent control but the remaining two communities live in and some of IL voted to discontinue it. Some are doing so this last winter. I reckon troll proponent at last night's meeting pointed to some of those rental situation as an example of the repercussions that may face tenants when mind control ends somewhere. Percent are gone according to Mark no one.
No property heard about investment about can start a good atmosphere for commerce and really not very human being caused by economic problems right now. And the word not anymore. You go to bed when you wake up with them. You have to worry about what you have to worry about right now. Today two ordinances on rent control were presented to the Boston City Council the Home Protection Act a bill sponsored by Councillor Ray Flynn proposes First of all that rent control continue beyond December thirty first and that vacancy decontrol be repealed and that condo conversions be banned in Boston. The second ordinance proposed by Mayor White calls for an extension of the present rent control legislation until 1982. This would continue the practice of vacancy decontrol
Councillor Ray Flynn comments on how he thinks they can see decontrol affects Boston tenants. I'm a part of it. He can be controlled because I think that it's unfair. Why should one person living in a unit pay $200 a month when the person living in an almost identical unit with the same economic situation would be required to pay $50 a month simply because when a unit of one unit is controlled and the other want to be controlled. So I think it is discriminatory and that I mean I don't consider that to be a viable solution to the current control problem in the city of Boston. What happens to rent control in Boston is undoubtedly a political issue. One speaker at the public hearing last night assured the gathered city councilors that they will work to make sure that pro rent control candidates are elected this November for GBH Journal. I'm Becky roar. Between 1974 and 977 arson nearly decimated the
Symphonie road section of Boston. Out of these fires came 33 indictments and proof that arson is not only a crime of vandals but a profitable white collar crime as well. These fires killed five people and displaced 500 from the tragedy also came a new understanding of arson and then a group of people are putting that understanding to the test by developing an arson early warning system. Now Walker has more by family classification This is a fairly typical sociological survey study. We've got a population of people but the buildings we separated out only those buildings that we think we can handle fairly simply which is rental apartment buildings where the owner had not lived in by the owner with no commercial use. And we're trying to define the characteristics of. Two different subpopulations buildings buildings they get burned and buildings that don't get burned. That was Richard Risto a computer expert working with urban educational systems to develop a program which will pinpoint a target of arson long before a match is struck. The premise is that arson is not a random crime that in most cases
it is planned to put money into someone's pocket. In fact the prevailing philosophy at u e s is that arson is only a symptom of a broader economic disease associated with the housing market. According to US founder David Scott Andrus housing policy is based on profit and in many cases profit comes quicker by torching than by providing decent housing. He gives this grim example because if I were you losing money in a building you don't want to lose any more money in the building. And essentially you're in a declining neighborhood. You've been handed a lemon. You can't deal with it. What you do is burn the place down to stop you from losing any more money so I call it a stop loss arson. Then it seems to me there's a very bizarre one and one that even more closely related to greed and that is what happens when you have the kind of legislation that they can see decontrol where you can only raise rents as high as you choose. If B
tenants are gone from a building and at the same time what happens if that happens to coincide with a quote rediscovery of your neighborhood. Well I suspected what may happen is some fires are said to chase tenants out of the building for a rehab that then can be sold for a lot higher prices can be rented out for a lot higher prices. There's a whole sort of classifiers in that same bag proselytisation fires gentry fires if you will. Condominium ization fires. So when you can give them all sorts of names. But if you wanted to put them in one under one broad heading is how can I make more money for ours. Scott Andras and his coworkers maintain that an arson early warning system is feasible because arson seems to come at a specific point in a building's history. The theory is that inner city housing is exploited. Rents are collected but repairs aren't made. Ownership changes the property deteriorates. It is abandoned or burned. US believes that if the building's footprints in this cycle are
followed then its risk can be ascertained. Richard Risto says that the footprints the computer will use are public records. The more a building generates the higher its risk. We go to the registry of deeds and pick up anything that affects the title that not only sales but mortgages applying to get the property tax filings. Civil suit against the owner. Lot of indicators that the owners in economic trouble show up that way. We catch when the owner is behind on his property taxes or whether he's just fallen behind recently or been sort of dragging by dragging by for a long time. We catch citations for violations of the building housing code. We think among that is that we have a pretty fair indication. They are the kind of trouble the owners and and the kind of intent he has toward the building. Risto expects that within a year or so the system will be able to pinpoint high risk buildings perhaps 90 days before they are torched. Dan Jaffe of the attorney
general's office explains what will happen from there. Any event that we thought it was likely that the building was going to be burned very soon. What we would try to do is look for a legal basis. To. Remove that building. From the physical control of the owner by means of remedies such as such as housing court receivership. The less stringent kinds of responses we make is to try to call a conference between the building owner. His mortgagee. Or his. Let them know that we think this building is an economic. Difficulties that we'd like to assist him in getting it out of the difficulties. And try to work out a plan. That would increase the pressure. JAFFE shares a view that arson is an economic instrument used in the housing market.
Most often against the poor. He believes that an early warning system will go far as a diagnostic tool that could help revitalize neighborhoods as well as save lives. Both Jaffe and the people at u e s stressed that arson is only a symptom of a deeper problem which only new policies and new attitudes can change. For GBH General WALKER. President Carter.
Is wondering whether the cabinet is all that important anyway attending the mass resignations of his Cabinet and staff for the dramatizes the president's promise to turn the country around. It's also a reminder of how little difference that cabinet makes in a primary government a crisis that causes such as would include the head of the government. It would force an election. But as our cabinet have no seats in Congress that a poncho makes no change in the Congress leadership or the political alignment. What it does for the president is to make it easy for him to make such replacements as his own change of direction indicates. Ordinarily members of a cabinet tendered their resignation upon the election of a president to a second term. This cabinet is held without change so all of Jimmy Carter's term so far which is called a record the president is expected to take advantage of the wholesale resignation offered to make only a few changes to that are generally considered inevitable. James Schlesinger secretary of energy and Michael Brown Secretary of Treasury these are the two areas energy and finance most critical in the
president's plans to bring new faces into these two key places would go with the president's picturing of the oil crisis as a war in the Second World War Franklin Roosevelt brought to Republicans in a key Cabinet places Henry Stimson Secretary of War and Frank Knox the secretary of Navy that gave a bipartisan look to the war cabinet. But actually Roosevelt ran the war operations largely through agencies outside the cabinet. Jesse Jones head of the Reconstruction Finance Administration and Harry Hopkins have all to go by the names remembered when the cabinet a forgotten secretary had become the scapegoat. Further failures of energy policy. He never got control of the jungle that the Congress created and called a new department of energy sector I thought has persisted in strong views of his own. As to coping with inflation and the shrinking dollar beyond those two some people would have a little less to offer the president headed perhaps by the transportation secretary Brock Adams
whose contribution to the gasoline shortage is to reduce the railroads. But how many can name their face cards to balance various political elements in the outward aspects of the administration. Forced changes in presidents cabinets have been few in modern times. When you resigned as secretary of state when you felt President Wilson's policy was leading us into war. Calvin Coolidge had big plans the Harding cabinet he inherited. But in his character touristic cautious way Coolidge managed to limit the firings to two and waited in each case until attorney general's Dorothy's corruption and Secretary Denby's stupidity had been publicly exposed. President Truman find Henry Wallace for making an authorized policy speeches that embarrassed his administration. He dropped James Burns as secretary of state also for becoming too big for his britches. President Eisenhower had to drop his chief of staff Sherman Adams over of the counterculture. Kind of staff
resignations My often larger change. We know even less about most of them when Congress provided 60 to Franklin Roosevelt. They were to be anonymous presidential aides. Now each is a chieftain of his own staff who plan programs provide liaison with every element with a political voice. Right Speech and shape are presidential image. Unless all these changes are obviously a very able and non political people the president will be accused of playing politics for re-election. But the politics of a nomination is already in full swing. 15 state Democratic organizations have come out for Senator Kennedy. The Cabinet resignations come out on the 10th anniversary of Chappaquiddick. Kennedy himself marked the day with an interview to get out ahead of those who would exploit the anniversary against him. One paid Kennedy a group that advertised American compact and a memorial in newspapers right across the country. The Kennedy interview shows him no longer quiescent about the presidency. He insisted on reviewing the questions in
advance. He had no new information to the tragedy in accepting his full responsibility for it. He made no announcement but he said he did not believe that Chappaquiddick would be a deterrent to his running for president. Latest polls show that three quarters of those asked say it would not deter them from voting for public reaction to Katter's. Cabinet changes and Kennedy's test of Chappaquiddick together may show whether Jimmy Carter's bugaboo of a Kennedy candidacy has substance. Commentator Louis Lyons. That's a journal for this Wednesday evening producer for tonight show was Marcia Hirtz in the Engineer Perry
Carter. We had production assistance from Pat and Lisa Mullins. My name is Amy sands. Have a good evening. Mm. Hmm. Glenn.
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