It's time to celébrate New Year's again the real New Year's, as our liouse astrologer would put it, the one that begins with Spring! And ceiebrate we will, even though several of our staffers crossed paths with the dreaded flu strain sweeping Detroit these days in the process of producing the paper you now hold in your hands. Even ol' Iffy, hardened as he is to the vicissitudes of Motor City weather, still has a bit of the croup even as he composes this fort-nightly epistle. Take heart, though-we made sure none of it got in the printer's ink, and we all hope to be fully recovered, scrubbed and smiling by March 31 for the grand drawing to determine the winner of the Win a Pound of Colombian Contest. And by the way, for those who might not know, April FooI's Day is a traditional time for a special kind of festival on the U of M Diag in Ann Arbor-the Hash Bash ! While we're on the subject of dangerous drugs, we have one award to present at this time. So without further ado, the Iffy Abuser of the Week tumors go to Mr. Theodore Vernier, esteemed high pundit of the Drug Enforcement Agency liere in Detroit, for his spectacular drunk-driving arrest of last week. Mr. Vemier reportedly failed to recite the alphabet correctly when asked to do so by curious officers. Is there a dope smoker in the audience that can match that for sheer incoherence? While the criminal wrongheadedness of state and federal officials is forcing dollar-starved Detroit to close its Historical Museum soon, in the midst of Bicentennial preparations, the federal and state Bicentennial Commissions have given cities and townships all over Michigan a total of more than half a million dollars, mostly for restoration projects- their own historical museums, you might say. While Northville got S7.000 to fix up a fish hatchery and a mili race, Detroit carne up with only SI 0,000 for the restoration of Fort Wayne and the Ethnic Festivals. DOINT THE MEDIA SHUFFLE: Detroit UPI Bureau Chief Bill Bell, one of our hardestworking and hardest-drinking journalists, is going back to foreign eorrespondence as Western Europe Bureau Chief for the New York Daily News. His replacement is Paul Varían, formerly of the UPI Lansing Bureau. And congratulations to Joanna Firestone, only female member of the Lansing press corps, who is the new UPI Chief there . . . Special to the editors of the Freep: When are you gonna let your man in Lansing, Hugh McDiarmid, write about politicians the way lie really knows how? We've seen some rip-roaring copy from Hugh before he carne to Michigan. That piece of folksy fluff on Rep. Bill Ryan could have been much better. Scoop Jackson lias opened up a goofy-looking Michigan campaign lieadquarters near Eight Mile and Woodward in Ferndale. State Attorney General Frank Kelley is lending his name as coördinator of the primary Jackson enterprise . . State Rep. Phil Mastín of Hazel Park, soniewhai unusual among suburban legislators for his liberal outlook on niany social issues, is currently the target of a recall campaign by a group which claims his support of Rep. Ryan's metro government bilí can only horrors!- to metropolitan busing. That's one of the few reasons we could think of that anyone would want to support the bill at all. Turncoat liberal Dana Wilson. an Oakland County Commissioner, is leading the hue and cry against Mastin. I oimer U of M All-Anierican back Billy Taylor has been transferred from federal prison in Oxford, Wisconsin to Milán, from whence he stands some chance of an early release, and will at least be ahle to attend school again. Billy is doing an eight-year stretch for an Ohio bank robbery. Word has it there may be a coaching job Oí two he can fill upon his release Finally, an Iffy apology to the Freep's Christie Bradford and the County Consumer Affairs Dept. 's Sue Hoover foi inferring that they might enjoy a lutle of Nepal 's finesi (hash) in their upcoming iainit to Katmandu. Sorry, ladies, we wuz only kidding-where's yer sense of humor' Anyway, there's always a first time.