A WORTHY CAUSE
The Oakland Junior Chamber of Commerce is trying to save interscholastic sport in its city. In last month's election a proposition which would have provided funds for such extracurricular activities as athletics, band and drama was voted down (SI, June 27). The vote was indefensible. Five of Oakland's six high schools are predominantly Negro. Eleven hundred kids will literally be thrown into the streets, and, as Oakland residents bitterly jest: "If Watts gets any worse, it might become another Oakland."
Although nonleague games have been canceled and several coaches have taken other jobs, some 60 Jaycees are manning telephones nightly in an attempt to raise the $104,800 needed to revive the league. The deadline is August 12, and only $2,000 has been collected so far. The Jaycees have also set up an office for receiving donations. The address is Oakland Junior Chamber of Commerce, 1320 Webster St., Oakland, Calif. 94612.
GILDING THE LILY
Lady Bird, bless her, wants to beautify the highways of America, and who doesn't?—except maybe the pizzaburger and cement dwarf people and, lately, a number of residents of Great, Orrs and Bailey islands. It seems the Maine State Highway Commission wants to spend $100,000 on 22 beautification sites along Route 24—which comes to a dead end at Bailey Island—as the state's first project to be financed under Mrs. Johnson's Highway Beautification Act.
But as Professor Lawrence S. Hall, chairman of the Bowdoin College English department and a leading opponent of the plan, points out, Route 24 is already overloaded with traffic during the summer and already scenic. As a matter of fact, there are those who feel that the relatively unspoiled road, twisting and turning along an arm of the sea, will be spoiled by beautification, which will entail such improvements as the creation or enlargement of parking turnoffs with views of the ocean and the establishment of elaborate picnic areas. Moreover, Route 24 is inadequately patrolled, it will not be improved to handle increased tourist traffic, it is for several miles a residential area and many of the proposed sites face or abut homes.
Following a meeting between Professor Hall and the chairman of the highway commission, the beautification program was shelved for a year's study, but the d�tente was broken when Hall learned the commission was contemplating a new scheme for Route 24: a picnic area with public toilets, well, fireplace, tables, shelters, 19 parking spaces and room for boat and camping trailers—diagonally across the road from a church!
As Hall wrote Maine's Governor Reed: "This is not a case of one accident befalling one small community with one short road.... If it can happen here it can happen over and over everywhere.... It may not be too late for the example of the 'beautification' of Route 24 to serve as a warning...that roadbuilders—whose aim and ideal is the perfect accessibility of everything including privacy—have no qualifications beyond their roadsides."
BATMAN SAYS REPEAL
If you want to surf at Newport Beach, Calif. you have to come up with three bucks for a municipal surfboard license, a decal that goes on the bottom of the board six inches forward of the skeg. First offenders are liable to a $10 fine, and City Attorney Tully Seymour reports that 23 citations have been issued to date, all pending adjudication.