Friday, Nov. 14, 1958 | 2 a.m.
The people who hold the world of the future in the palms of their hands got together yesterday to talk about themselves and the people who run things today, as the Las Vegas SUN sponsored Third Annual Southern Nevada Youth Forum convened at The New Frontier Hotel — and they had lots of things to say.
We mean the teenagers who participated in the forum — youngsters who talked about everything ranging from “Social Behavior” to “Politics” and chose representatives to tell all of Las Vegas and the state in general what their thoughts were about the world around them.
Representative speakers were chosen to convey the collective thoughts of the youngsters who pondered about their problems and will air them for all to see and hear at the New Frontier beginning 6:45 tonight and later over KLAS-TV Sunday evening.
The 14 finalists chosen out of the seven panels to represent their schools and their forum were:
- Panel 1, Social Behavior — Linda Pantuso, Basic; Gary Watternbarger, Rancho.
- Panel 2, Do Nevada Laws Serve Us Adequately — Judi Hamblin, Basic; Barbara Bishop, Moapa.
- Panel 3,, Better Understanding of Law Enforcement Agencies — Mary Beth Miller, Boulder City; Helen Vasquez, Gorman.
- Panel 4, Politics — Joe Bawler, Virgin Valley; Gale Jordan, Rancho.
- Panel 5, Our Schools Today — Allan Earl, Vegas High; Judy Mitchell, Boulder City.
- Panel 6, Interschool Activity Program — Ted Wendell, Vegas High; Dallas Mulanaux, Rancho.
- Panel 7, Teenagers and the World Today — Jim Moss, Vegas High; Judi Price, Basic.
Comedian Dick Shawn and youthful lyric soprano Carla Alberghetti, Tropicana hotel stars, accompanied hotel’s musical conductor Nat Brandwynne, will perform before the forum participants and spectators at tonight’s banquet climaxing the two-day event.
The panelists on Social Behaviour, moderated by John Wawerna and John Beville, got deeply involved in the question of whether or not chivalry is dead, especially in relation to the teeners who go on dates and fail to observe the amenities regarding opening doors, picking up handkerchiefs, picnic habits–who serves who–and styles of dancing.
The question was posed: “What are we supposed to do when our date fails to open the door we are supposed to go through.” The girls felt that this was one thing they wanted done, but the boys were sort of reluctant, pondering the worth of a favor such as picking up a handkerchief dropped by their date.
In another and equally serious panel, moderated by Dr. Irving Katz, a discussion about the narcotic problem came up and the teeners discussed the advisability of the death penalty for those convicted of peddling dope.
It was brought out that in one country (unnamed) where the death penalty had been invoked, the narcotic traffic had been cut by 70 percent.
Criticism of the panelists centered on the prospects for conviction that faced persons charged with dope peddling. They opined that in Nevada a conviction was hard to come by. The role of Red China in peddling dope among its inhabitants and spreading the evil stuff throughout the world was brought out by a teener who said “this is a policy of subversion.”
An interesting factor was evoked by Panel 4–Politics–where the youngsters seemed agreed that the recent election ballot was much too much for the voter to digest. The suggestion was that the ballot be shortened and that most posts to which persons are elected be instead by selection of an overall boss, like a governor or a mayor.
Nothing was sacred where the forward thinking teeners were concerned and the problem of what this country should do in Formosa came up with the general opinion being that the regime of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek was “corrupt” while he was in power and that any aid to the Nationalist ruler be studied closely.
Teeners on this panel, moderated by Alan Jarison, were of the opinion that Chiang maintained powerful “pressure groups” in Washington, well financed units bent on drawing this country into war with Red China–about whom “no one had anything favorable to say anyway.”
“What is the source of Chiang’s money?” many wanted to know. All were agreed on caution where the Formosa situation was concerned.
Panel 3, which discussed “Better Understanding of Law Enforcement Agencies” talked about schools “as prisons” and advocated that High School seniors be given lounges so that cigarettes may be smoked without the necessity of the “fellows running off to the bathroom for a smoke.”
It was brought out that the teachers have lounges where cigarettes are smoked and that the students observe this.
“I know there is a difference in ages,” said one girl panelist. “But still!”
A real hot discussion was evoked on Panel 5, moderated by Mrs. Peggy Hyde, the subject being schools. The problem of the gifted child was brought out and the lack of facilities for the recognition and training for of these children was discussed.
Speakers said that the School Board should give more attention to gifted children. Criticism, however, was voiced of the teachers who promoted children not ready for the next class.
“No students are held back now,” said one paneler. “It’s just get them out–we won’t care if they can read or write, just get them out.”
Panel No. 6, moderated by Mrs. Wendell Bunker, discussed the program of interschool activity and the question was raised whether science could be overdone at the expense of the arts.
Moderators on the panels were John Wawerna, John Beville, Dr. Irving Katz, Zel Lowman, Jim Moss, Mrs. Peggy Hyde, Mrs. Wendell Bunker and Alan Jarison. A music forum was led by Jack Foy, president of Musicians’ Local 369, AFM director was Lewis Elias.
For the windup program during the banquet at the Venus Room of the New Frontier, Harvey Dondero will be master of ceremonies, and R. Guild Gray, county school superintendent, will be a speaker along with County Commissioner Harley Harmon and Hank Greenspun, publisher of the Las Vegas SUN. Other civic officials will liven the program which will be climaxed by the youth speakers presenting the opinions of the panels on which they served.