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Berkshire Eagle Newspaper Archive: January 7, 1977 - Page 1

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Publication: Berkshire Eagle

Location: Pittsfield, Massachusetts

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   Berkshire Eagle (Newspaper) - January 7, 1977, Pittsfield, Massachusetts                                AFRICA Carter must recognize it a importance to us 17 Vol85No203 E ag le Forecast r Pittsfield Massachusetts Friday January 7 1977 Strong gusty winds flurries and squalls drifting snow with colder temperatures tonight Low in the teens Partly cloudy scattered flurries windy and cold tomorrow High in the 20s 28 Pages 20c Happy days in Boston Boston Globe photos via UPI Rev Joseph Scannell 69 walks away unharmed from his car after it was crushed under a jackknifed tractor trailer on the Southeast Expressway near the Mas sachusetts Avenue exit in Boston His dejection how ever was nothing compared to the emotions felt by hordes of motorists backed up for more than five hours by the accident The traffic jam reportedly the citys worst in eight years began at p m when the truck carrying 38000 pounds of beef overturned and blocked three of the expressways four lanes By all three bridges crossing the Charles River were jam med No one was reported injured WBff TICKET 5 f A r I Redistricting plan leaves Scelsi with only safe seat in county By A A Micheison Rep Joseph S Sclesi DPittsfield would be the only Berkshire County in cumbent left relatively unthreatened in a proposed redistricting of the Massachu setts House of Representatives unveiled this morning at the Statehouse by Rep George Keverian of Everett Democratic whip Berkshires representation under the new redistricting will drop from sev en to four Keverian has been working on the re districting for the past 18 months It was dictated by a 4 to 1 popular vote in 1972 which amended the state constitution to provide for only 160 members of the House starting with the election of 1978 For more than 100 years the number of representatives has been 240 Redistricting is based on a census tak en by each city and town in 1975 State wide it came to 5789478 which man dates that each of the new 160 districts shall be as close as possible to 36184 for each district The present norm is 24122 Berkshire Countys 1975 population was 148069 which provides comfortably according to Keverian for four districts But they are not so comfortable for in cumbents who will have to live with them Here are the new districts District 1 Clarksburg North Adams Florida Adams Savoy Cheshire and Windsor More than half of the proposed new district has been represented for eight years by Rep Frank J Matrango DNorth Adams The lower part of the district Adams Savoy Cheshire and Windsor has been represented by Rep Anthony P McBride DAdams This would pit the two against each other District 2 Wards 1 and 2 and Pre cinct 7C of Pittsfield plus Dalton Lanes boro Hancock New Ashford and Wil liamstown Almost half of the district is now represented by the freshman legisla tor Rep Thomas R Lussier of Pitts field who was elected in November by a district composed of Wards 1 2 and 3 Lussier in 1978 could get serious chal lenges from candidates in Dalton and Williamstown This proposed district is substantially above the Keverian norm of 36189 It has a population of 38956 less than half of which is in the Pittsfield wards and precincts District 3 Wards 3 4 5 6 7A and 7B Rep Joseph S Scelsi DPittsfield represents Wards 5 6 and 7 in what is now known as District 5 Wards 3 and 4 add a population of about 17000 to his present district He could be challenged from the new wards but he has substan tial visibility in the city as a result of his 16 years on the City Council and his mayoralty candidacy five years ago District 4 has the rest of the county 19 towns and it will pit two popular in cumbents against each other Rep Sid ney Q Curtiss RSheffield who will be Rep Josephs Scelsi Pittsfield district expands Redistricting plan Continued on Page 13 GEs Roberts sees 1200 layoffs in 77 By Kirk Scharfenberg The General Electric Co in Pittsfield which over the past two years has re duced its work force by 1800 could lose between 1000 and 1200 additional jobs during 1977 GE vice president Bruce 0 Roberts said this morning If Roberts most pessimistic projection is accurate the number of employes at GEhere could drop to 7800 by years end its lowest level since 1940 The net threeyear reduction in jobs by the coun tys largest single employer would amount to a 28 per cent reduction in em ployment since the beginning of 1975 As he has in similarly gloomy annual messages the last two years Roberts general manager of GEs large trans former division and the area executive for the companys Pittsfield operations promised that every effort will be made to handle the job reduction through attri tion employment next year Roberts report ed The plastics division which has its world headquarters here now employs only about 600 locally The continued reduction in ordnance employment which Roberts projected was attributed to cyclical factors have long been the pattern in local ordnance production The high point of the local work effort on the fire control systems for the Navys Trident submarines the principal work of the local ordnance op See Page 12 for GEs full report According to the company more than half the 1800 jobs eliminated in the last two years were handled through attrition retirements and voluntary quits Roberts said that of the projected 1000 to 1200 GE jobs to be eliminated this year 450 will be in the companys ord nance systems primarily in the pro duction of Mk 45 gunmounts for the Navy and the rest will come from the trans former operations Ordnance reportedly employs about 3500 now and the trans former operations employ about 4900 The one healthy sector of the local GE businesses the plastics division is expected to experience a slight growth in eration was passed last year and work on the Mk 45 gunmounts will end this year with the shipment of the last of 56 units ordered by the Navy The further reductions in the trans former operations were attributed by Roberts to the continued slack in de mand for electrical equipment The mar ket slump began in GEs distribution transformer operation in 1975 and contin ued through 1976 While most of the transformer layoffs of the past two years have been concen trated in the distribution transformer op erations by the end of last year layoffs were reported in power transformer as well During this year a greater proportion of the job reduction than in the past is expected to be concentrated in power transformer Ironically the acceleration of power transformer layoffs will come after that operation produced in 1978 its first prof its in seven years Previously power transformer had been plagued by pro duction and pricing problems Roberts offered little hope for the im mediate future The outlook for 1977 in the large transformer business divisions Pittsfield components is colored by a soft market for power transformers An early turnaround is unlikely be cause utilities are reluctant to place or ders due to lack of financing and uncer tainty about the future Despite intensive efforts customer Bruce ORoberts He accents the positive GE foresees layoffs JB 1977 Continued on Page 13 Troubles at sea old stuff for missing tanker Zenith CAMBRIDGE Mass UPI The Panamanian oil tanker Grand Zenith which has vanished from sight and radio frequencies somewhere in the North Atlantic was no stranger to stormy weather mishaps according to a re search center The 642foot tanker has met with at least four foulweather mishaps since 1964 She also ran aground in 1967 requiring 200 tons of steel to repair damaged hull and bottom plates the Cen ter for ShortLived Phenomena said Thursday The Grand Zenith was involved in four heavyweather casualties on record since 1964 and one grounding said cen ter director Richard Golob Golob cautioned his centers research is in no way to be taken as evidence the Grand Zenith was not seaworthy It would be impossible to know that unless you examined the ship prior to the incident he said The Coast Guard today found two life jackets from the missing tanker 300 miles southeast of Cape Cod It was the first solid evidence that the tanker had sunk with its crew of 38 Nationalist Chinese crewmen aboard An earlier story on the search appears on Page 5 In January 1964 the tanker encountered heavy weather and its gudgeon and pintle parts of the rudder were badly worn Golob said The ship was comingfrom Okinawa and Yokohama at the time In December 1966 the ship once again encountered heavy weather damage en route from the Persian Gulf to Okinawa Internal structures were fractured and the deep tanks in the front part of the ship were flooded In February 1967 it was again in passage from the Persian Gulf to Okinawa and carrying about 28000 tons of cargo It developed cracks in its cargo tank bulkheads which Golob said is not uncommon in heavy weather In October 1968 the vessel encountered rough weather from Punta Cardon Venezuela to Loch Striven Scotland At that time the rudder became damaged and structural members within the ship were fractured which required wel ding When last heard from nine days ago the captain of the Grand Zenith radioed he was entering bad weather off the coast of Nova Scotia en route from England to Providence RI The ship had 38 Nationalist Chinese crewmembers and carried 82 million gallons of industrial fuel oil In December 1967 the ship ran aground off Ferrol Spain She hit bottom and 27 bottom plates in the hull were damaged Two hundred tons of steel were required to repair the tanker Golob said The Center for ShortLived Phenomena llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllHllllllllllllll News index Area News Briefs19 Calendar18 County 1819 Editorial Pages1617 Food Fashion7 Hospital List 14 Life Styles6 Local 1215 National 3 Obituaries13 Social89 Sports 2023 Statehouse4 TV Movies 27 compiles data on a variety of natural and humancaused disasters such as oil spills and volcanic eruptions The Grand Zenith was built in 1953 in Quincy She has had several other names including Orion Comet Flying Comet Beta Reserve and Western Comet Golob speculated there may have been more accidents which have gone un claimed One thing is interesting Since 1968 there are no records of heavy weather damage to the Grand Zenith One reason perhaps would be because the deductibles have become greater in insurance policies and as a result the repairs would not be recorded Golob said Golob said the mysterious disappear ance of the Grand Zenith is the third such incident in the past year This past year is somewhat unusual due to the fact already there have been three tankers lost Golob said One ship the Verge Istra a Norwegian ship loaded with iron ore from Brazil was missing in the North Pacific There was an explosion and it sank There were two survivors Last September the Cyprus tanker Cretan Star ran into bad weather about 450 miles from Bombay A huge wave apparently struck her and its crew of 36 was lost Golob said Sweden accuses US reconnaissance planes of nearly hitting 2 jetliners over Baltic Sea STOCKHOLM Sweden UPI The National Swedish Civil Aviation Administration said today that US reconnaissance jet planes almost collided with civilian jetliners in two incidents over the Baltic Sea Department Head Aake Gustafsson said US C135 jets the military version of Boeing 707 flew without permission in a civilian air corridor over the Baltic Island of Gotland Sept 20 and jeopar dized air safety in two incidents involving Japanese and Finnish airliners Last Wednesday another American military jet roared past a Soviet Aeroflot jet liner only 100 yards from its nose north west of Gotland Swedish newspapers reported The Russian plane en route from Copenhagen to Moscow was flying at an altitude of 33000 feet the newspapers said Gustafsson said the aviation administration had not yet had time to investigate the Wednesday report He said he wrote a letter to the US embassy before Christmas describing the two Sept 20 incidents We have informed them on the cir cumstances leaving it to them to take appropriate measures We look seriously on this for air safety reasons Gustaf sson said US press attache Philip Walcott told UPI the embassy received the letter last week We are in the process of forwarding it to the Department of Defense in Washington he said On Sept 20 a Japan Airlines DCS jet enroute from Copenhagen to Moscow was passed by a northbound American C135 south of Gotland Gustafsson said Twohours later we got a report from a southbound Finnair Caravelle passenger plane which had been flying on collision course with a C135 he said He said both incidents occurred at an altitude of 33000 feet over international waters south of Gotland He said the American planes must pass through the corridor to get up north but they could ask for permission Defense Ministry sources said the C135 planes were listening to Soviet military and civilian radio traffic Taxing business UPI Presidentelect Jimmy Carter listens to comments by his economic ad visers during a discussion of a program of tax cuts to stimulate the econ omy News story on the proposals and new appointments by Carter Page 2   

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