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European Stars and Stripes Newspaper Archive: September 6, 1970 - Page 4

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Publication: European Stars and Stripes

Location: Darmstadt, Hesse

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   European Stars and Stripes (Newspaper) - September 6, 1970, Darmstadt, Hesse                              Page 4 THE STARS AND STRIPES Sunday, September 6, 1970Kids Playing on the Grass!In Germany, That's a BattleBy FRANK CREPEAUFRANKFURT (AP) — Threemop-haired children are chal-lenging the sanctity Of Germangrass oy playing on it, and pa-rents have been hauled intocourt for supporting such brazenconduct.When they told their childrento go ahead and play on thegrass in front of their Frankfurtapartment, Mr. and Mrs. Kon-rad Loew went against che-rished German tradition. Itholds that grass exists only todelight the eye and only "keepoff the grass" signs and way-ward dogs can mar its pristinestate.It wasn't only that SabineLoew, 12, and her brothers, Jo-hannes, 9, and Martin, 6, werecaught green-footed on thegrass, but their parents refusedto order the children off.Test CaseIn what is now called a testcase, the owners of the housingproject with 1,100 apartmentsfiled for an injunction to requirethe Loews to keep off the grass.If the Loews win, children allover West Germany will toeplaying on grass.Mrs. Loew, her blue eyesflashing, said: "Something isvery wrong in our society whenthey bring a lawsuit becausekids were on the grass. Nowwe're going to fight and maybepeople will have a little courageif they see somebody win acase."The case, due to be decidedlater this month, was filed byNeue Heimat, owned by theWest German Trade Union As-sociation, which has some300,000 apartments in projectsthroughout West Germany.Neue Heimat argued the grassis not a playground, does not be-long to renters and serves onlyan aesthetic function, to . . ."bring joy to the beholder." Italso contends that children play-ing on the grass between rowsof houses disturb other residentsand that the six Loew childrenhave been troublemakers sincethe family moved in. Only thethree younger children are in-volved in the suit,Hostility ShownLoew, a 44-year-old economistand business consultant, arguesthat Neue Heimat has shown acertain hostility toward childrenall along and there is no reasonwhy children shouldn't play onthe grass since the project'splayground is poorly situatedand inadequate.Sitting in his roomy, comfor-table apartment filled withbooks, children, cats and twoguinea pigs, Loew insisted thatchildren have always played ongrass in the project but are con-stantly shouted at by custodians,and some neighbors have filedcomplaints about noise."But they brought the suitsimply because 1 won't forbidmy children to play there," hesaid. He said the situation issymptomatic o* the way childrenare being denied their right toplay in West Germany — theirright to normal, healthy devel-opment."Sure, children make noise,"he said, "but when you considerthe noise we make with ourcars, trains, planes and con-struction, it's really not somuch."Mrs. Loew added: "It's theold idea that any adult is anauthority figure and is always inthe right."It would have remained asmall affair between landlordand tenant but a Frankfurtnewspaper printed the story andwas immediately flooded withletters to the editor.A majority of the letter writ-ers sided with Loew, arguingthat crowded, traffic-cloggedcities offer few playgrounds andthat children are daily hounded,chased, shouted at and evenslapped around by adults forplaying on grass or simply mak-ing too much noise.West German television broad-cast a documentary titled "NoPlace for Children," showinghow partment builders providespace for automobiles but forgetabout playgrounds, and con-tending that West Germany ishostile to children.A magazine printed statisticsto show West Germany has thepoorest record in Europe forproviding playgrounds nearapartment!; and that Britain pro-vides 40 times more playgroundspace than West Germany.In the letters to the editors,the grass also had its defenders.One man attacked the "egoisticattitude" of the Loew familyand said: "To allow children toplay on the grass on the groundsthat there are not enough play-grounds is silly If I look thesame position I should rob abank tomorrow because I'mshort of money."Others protested that today'schildren have no respect forgrass, their elders or anythingelse.Loew hopes the court willorder Neue Heimat to open upall its grass to children, butsays that if he loses the case hewill appeal."The wide public reaction hasshown this to be an importantissue for many people," he said."We won't give up."^ —Pompidou PlansTo Visit SovietSpaee CenterMOSCOW (AP) — French President Georges Pompidouwill visit the Soviet Union's top-secret space center at Baiko-nur in Central Asia during his state visit next month, west-ern sources said Friday nightPompidou's predecessor, Charles de Gaulle, is the onlywestern leader who has seen the vast space complex on theKazakhstan steppes. De Gaulle visited the cosmodrome in1966While at Baikonur, Pompidou may witness the launching ofa Soviet rocket carrying French-made laser reflectors for alanding on the moon. But there was no way of checking thispossibility with Soviet officials.During his 1966 visit lo Baikonur, De Gaulle watched thelaunching oC the Soviet Co£mos-122 satellite. Presumably theRussian! would accord Pompidou a similar opportunity, andthe laser launching would offer a good occasion for ikThe sources said Pompidou, who arrives in Moscow Oct. 6$will go to Baikonur Oct 8. spend Ifee night, and then fly toNovosibirsk and visit the Siberian scientific city of Akedem-^JFrom there he will fly to Tashkent, capital of the .CentralAsian republic of Uzbekistan, and Samarkand, capital of the14th-century Mongol conqueror, Tamerlane.11Long. StruggleFrance Plans Campaign Against Tax CheatingBy CLYDE H, FARNSWORTHPARIS (NYT)'...— The govern-ment has begun what promisesto be a long and tough struggleto get Frenchmen to stop cheat-ing on their income taxes.With proposals submitted tothe finance committee of theNational Assembly, FinanceMinister Valery Giscardd'Estaing is hoping to simplifythe structure and reduce therates in an effort to inducepeople to pay all their takes.Tax fraud, he said, must be"eliminated as a social phe-nomenon, kept to the proportionsof an isolated, abnormal, repres-sed phenomenon disapproved ofby public opinion."The program for fiscal re-form, which is subject still toconsiderable adjustment beforeit is put into effect, steers clearTODAY'I ORLD* * * * *Miss Great Britain QuitsWIG AN, England (AP) — Miss Great Britain, 23-year-old Kath-leen Winstanley has packed up her crown in a wooden box andretired from the beauty business."I am through with the beauty game," she announced. 'Tm beatIt's more than any girl can take."The former restaurant worker was elected Britain's most beauti-ful girl Aug. 27. She has been Miss United Kingdom and a runnerup in the Miss World contest, and has been winner of beautycontests tor the past three years.But she said the schedule of receptions and public appearancesthat went with the latest $4,800 title were too much. She collapsedin Belfast Thursday during a tour.Miss Winstanley said she had been getting up at 6:30 in themornings and getting to bed at 2:30 a.m.• Bonn Offers Deal to Halt PotBONN (AP) -- West Germany has offered 10,000 tons of fertili-zer for Turkish marijuana growers who stop planting the drag.The offer was made by Development Aid Minister Erhard Epplerto visiting Turkish Agriculture Minister Ilhami Ertem,Ertcm told Eppler the Turkish government has succeeded inreducing to 19,900 hectares from 40,9M the area on which mari-juana is grown. Eppler said tike fertilizer should be used to givemarijuana growers an incentive to grow other plants.• Great Scott! It's Too Much!ADELAIDE, Australia (UPI) — Lady Dorothy Scott has beenembarrassed almost to tears since the advent of a massive tele-vision and billboard advertising campaign ballyhooing Lady Scotttoilet paper.She said she had decided to close her four hairdressing salonsand move to Britain,"I don't want to leave; this is my home," said Lady Scott, "butit would be too embarrassing to stay. Wherever I go, people makemention of it. I always run into smart people who have a dig atme."The TV commercial for the toilet paper, manufactured by Bowa-ter-Scott, shows a children's choir singing a jingle. The "productitself has flowers on it."The other night I went out and did not even realize I waswearing a floral dress until somebody said, "I see you even wearflowers on your clothes.""This sort of thing is never forgotten.1*of stiffer penalties for tax eva-sion. It is unheard of for a taxevader to be jailed. Late pay-ments are subject lo a 10 percent fine. The fines are pooledas the bonuses of tax inspectors.Public exposure is the onlyweapon contemplated. Individualtax payments would be posted,along with the name of the tax-payer, in local town halls, aproposal that has been made be-fore in France but has alwaysbeen defeated.Reduction of the difference oftreatment between the salariedand the self-employed is one ofthe objectives of the reform.Those on a salary have littleopportunity to cheat. Althoughtaxes are not withheld inFrance, employers are requiredto inform the tax authorities ofthe pay of individual employes.There are no such controlsover the self-employed -— profes-sional men, such as doctors andlawyers, and the small shop-keepers, already upset by thegrowth of supermarkets inFrance. Any attempts to extendfiscal controls over the lattergroup are bound to meet withvocal, if not violent, opposition.Militant shopkeeper groupswere thought to be behind aseries of attacks against localtax bureaus earlier this year.Pierre Poujade, president ofthe Union for Defense of Com-merce and Artisanry, has al-ready served notice that, if Gi*.card d'Estaing "resuscitates th  

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