DAWN OF THE AGE
One of the first hard steps toward cleaning up water pollution has been taken by the state of Maine. Gov. Kenneth M. Curtis announced a two-year, $60 million program that would, he declared, "take care of more than one-third of the municipal water pollution in Maine." Expenditures on water pollution had been averaging$5 million annually. Federal funds would comprise 55% of the $60 million, with the state and local communities providing the rest, but because enough federal funds are not yet available, Maine is "prefunding" 30% of the federal share. The prefunding is possible because of a $50 million water-pollution bond issue approved by the voters last fall. Almost half the money will be spent on the construction of water pollution abatement plants. A state official said that industry had been responsible for most of the water pollution, but that the major offenders were complying with a plan to halt all waste discharges into rivers by 1976.
As Maine goes, so goes the nation, we hope.
The legalizing of off-track betting in New York State, which other states may choose to emulate, has revived interest in the Andros Plan, a suggestion by a Californian named George Andros that his state skip off-track betting and instead legalize on-track betting when the horses are not running. That is, even though the horses have gone on to another track, the horseplayers would turn out as usual, watch piped-in tote-board figures and see closed-circuit telecasts from the distant tracks (both before and during the races) and make their bets at the old familiar windows.
No betting parlors would have to be built, staffed and maintained, and no new and expensive electronic gear would be required (beyond the hookup with the other tracks). The same people would run the operation, thus relieving the state of the problem of going into the betting business, and yet the state would still take its standard cut from the action.
Former California Governor Pat Brown liked the idea, and at one time the proposal was on its way to the state legislature, but after Ronald Reagan defeated Brown the Andros Plan went into limbo. Now an effort is being made in California to revive it.
MASHIES vs. NIBLICKS
Two New Yorkers, Charles White and Connie Seredin, have labored and brought forth the International Professional Golf League, a far-out concept that has become the subject of lively conversation on the golf tour. The IPGL is being formed, says White, because: 1) many pro golfers would welcome a permanent base with guaranteed income, a retirement plan, limited travel and opportunities for "star status" in an adopted community (e.g., Ron Santo is from Seattle, but Chicago is where his name sells pizza); 2) most golf fans never see live golf competition except on television, and even on TV they are increasingly unable to identify with the players because of the abundance of faceless—meaning what's the name of the guy who won this week?—regulars on the tour; 3) many businesses and advertisers (28, according to Seredin's last count) want to sponsor professional golf but can't because there simply is no room on the PGA schedule of events.
White and Seredin say the new league would remedy all this by establishing golf teams in various cities. Each team would have six golfers and would play 60 times a year (30 home-and-home match-play "games") between April and October. Like other team players, the golfers would be paid salaries (between $40,000 and $60,000); no prize money would be available except when teams divided playoff and championship purses. Letters outlining all this went out to touring pros, says Seredin, and, "We got enough back to prove there are guys out there who are interested." The PGA hierarchy has taken no official stand except to express "surprise" that it was not asked for advice.