One of our favorite organizations, the Sierra Club, is being slowly throttled by the Internal Revenue Service. On June 9 the club ran a couple of full-page ads urging readers to protest two proposed dams in the Grand Canyon (SI, June 27). Less than 24 hours later the IRS, proceeding with almost unseemly haste, advised the club that it could no longer be assured its donations would be tax deductible. In effect, this action choked off most of the club's contributions.
At the time, the IRS promised to rule on at least the retroactivity of its advisory before July 10—in other words, to determine whether any donations received by the club after June 10 were tax-deductible. As Treasury Under Secretary Joseph Barr, the man responsible for the precipitate move, said on June 14, "This won't strangle them for very long." Well, on July 8, an IRS spokesman said that all he could say was, "The examination has begun. It is not completed. There is no fix as to when a decision will be reached." Mr. Barr, the victim is turning blue.
THE RETURN OF NORMAN FORD
A visitor to the finish line at Suffolk Downs in Boston the other day came upon a man wearing two pairs of glasses simultaneously. It was, of course, Professor Norman Ford, the prodigious how-to author (SI, Oct. 4, 1965), whose Force Method for the Handicapping of Race Horses—all 28 volumes of it at $3 a pop—transformed Ford from pauper to prince of the old Astor mansion in Newport, R.I.
Devotees of the professor will be delighted to learn that he, anyway, is still beating the races: a $113.40 daily double this particular afternoon. Back from a long trip abroad, Ford announced he is ready to share a startling new system with his faithful students. His latest work will be entitled The New Zealand Method and, for now, this is his 29th and last word on the horses. Ford is at present preoccupied with reissuing, by popular demand, one of his earlier works, a one-shot entitled You Can Save Your Hair.
In the Sunnyvale, Calif. Little League a team named the Chargers wound up in the cellar with a record of one win, 10 defeats and a tie.
Naturally, the Chargers' players were apprehensive of the other teams in the league—the Cobras, the Wildcats, the Panthers, the Lions and the Dragons. Indeed, after facing the hissing Cobras, the fire-breathing Dragons, the howling Wildcats, the roaring Lions and the snarling Panthers, the Chargers' second baseman asked his manager: "What does a Charger look like, and what noises does he make?"
The second baseman's name is, honest, Charlie Brown.