Editor's Notes


• FAA FOLLOW-UP. Our January 1979 issue lambasted the Federal Aviation Administration for doing a poor job of operating the nation's air traffic control system and mentioned the San Diego airport area as a particularly bad example. In March of this year the FAA at long last announced that it will be upgrading the air safety procedures in San Diego by putting in a Group II Terminal Control Area as of May 15. San Diego will be the 24th city to have a TCAâ€"a system of procedures and equipment aimed at providing more positive control of air traffic in congested areas.

One of our article's main points was that the FAA tends to await major disasters before taking significant steps to increase safety. That assessment has been confirmed by the General Accounting Office in a major study of the FAA's handling of 16 safety areas. In a summary of its 105-page report, GAO says, "FAA does not have effective systems for identifying safety hazards, a comprehensive planning process to address safety issues, an adequate system for planning and approving individual safety programs, a proper system of controls to govern the implementation phase of safety projects, or sufficient evaluation of safety programs and projects." Rep. Elliott Levitas (D-Ga.) called the GAO study "a damning indictment of the management of FAA's primary responsibilityâ€"the lives of the traveling public."

• SPECIAL OFFER. Readers of this Financial Issue will note that the debate on inflation versus deflation, beginning on p. 28, took place at the sixth annual conference of the National Committee for Monetary Reform. A complete set of cassette tapes of this four-day affair, totaling 24 hours of lectures, seminars, and question/answer sessions with 40 speakers, is available from NCMR. The normal price is $140, but REASON readers may order the complete set for just $75â€"46 percent off. Write NCMR, Dept. R, 8422 Oak Street, New Orleans, LA 70118.

• ADDRESS, PLEASE. Several readers have asked us for the address of Antony Fisher's new Pacific Institute (Feb., p. 42). You can contact the Institute at 220 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA 94104, phone (415) 788-1966.

• SUMMER SEMINAR. The Reason Foundation/Liberty Fund summer research seminar in legal and moral philosophy will get under way in mid-June. Thirteen young scholars have been selected to participate in the 12-week seminar at the Foundation's offices in Santa Barbara. Each will pursue his own research within the general subject area of legal/moral philosophy and will take part in seminars with visiting scholars. Last year's similar program enabled several of the research fellows to complete books and led to a number of articles being submitted to scholarly journals.

• DEFENSE INTEREST. Cong. Ron Paul's article "SALT-Free Defense," published in our March issue, has been reprinted by the US Air Force's Current News (Mar. 18, 1980), a publication read by key Department of Defense personnel and members of Congress.

• UFW UPDATE. The latest journalist to question the actions of Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers union is none other than columnist Jack Anderson. Documenting cases of violence and conflict of interest in UFW operations, Anderson concludes that the UFW "has become a violence-prone, tyrannical empire under the iron-fisted rule of Cesar Chavez." Echoing charges in REASON's path-breaking article on the subject (Nov.), Anderson says "Chavez seems to have lost sight of the people whose welfare earned that [earlier] respectability."

One of the important issues raised in REASON's article was the UFW's Citizenship Participation Day fund, to which UFW workers are required to contribute. Under California law, the UFW was allowed to define "good standing" in the union to exclude any member who refused to allow his or her "contribution" to be placed in the union's political action fund (used to back friendly politicians). Workers not in good standing could be expelled from the unionâ€"and therefore from their jobs. The California legislature is close to passing a bill to restrict the "good standing" definition to refer only to payment of union duesâ€"as is the case under federal labor law. With Gov. Jerry Brown ready to veto the bill (as he did a similar one in 1979), the state Agricultural Labor Relations Board on March 20 attempted to preempt the issue by ruling that UFW members can no longer be compelled to contribute to the fund. They will now be able to request a refund from the union in writing. At press time, the bill had passed the Assembly and was awaiting action in the Senate.