Items of Interest

The fate of the government's regulations for the control of water-power sites was submitted to the United States circuit court of appeals at Denver last week, when arguments were concluded in the case of the United States against the Utah Power & Light Company. The suit involves the whole subject of federal or state control of the public domain. Fees to the government, estimated at from one to two million dollars in the next ten years, are also involved in the case. The Utah Power & Light Company is a forty million-dollar merger. The appeal is from the decision of Judge Marshall of the United States district court of Utah, charging the power corporation with trespass in constructing a flume and reservoir in the Cache national forest, Utah. Hundreds of similar instances in mountain and Pacific coast states are awaiting determination.

Thomas Mott Osborne, chairman of the New York state committee on prison reform, spent a week in Auburn prison as a voluntary inmate, for the purpose of studying the prison system from first-hand sources. He is enthusiastic over the success of his experiment, which included a taste of every experience that is possible for an inmate to undergo aside from electrocution. "I am more than ever confirmed in my previous opinion," he said, "that the prison system is singularly unintelligent, ineffective, and cruel. In many respects the material welfare of the convicts is well looked after, but the prison system is a form of slavery. It takes from the convict his own initiative and freedom of action, and he becomes an irresponsible automaton, unable to guide his own destiny when he returns to the outside world."

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"Tribute to whom tribute is due"
October 18, 1913
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