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Newport Mercury And Weekly News Newspaper Archive: October 28, 1977 - Page 1

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   Newport Mercury And Weekly News (Newspaper) - October 28, 1977, Newport, Rhode Island                               And Weekly News 217thYWR NEWPORT, RHODE 28, 1977 .20 CENTS' Society head favors tax on entertainmen ENTRANCE THROUGH GATE 10 of Naval Education and Training Center off Coddlngton Highway has been permanently closed because of reduced number of sentries, stirring Ire of NETC employees, who say (hey now must go through Gale 17, near Naval Underwater Systems Command entrance. (Dally News) Monday, October 24 Monday, October U A five per cent lax on admissions to all types of enterlainmenl would be Ihe tax most acceptable to the Preservation Society of Newport County, Executive Director Daniel Porler said today. "Our support would be condilional on whether it was a uniformed lax law lhat doesn't single out certain kinds of businesses because of their tax said Porter. The Preservation Society is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization. Porter favors a lax on all admission tickets, including those for movie Ihealers and other performances, not Just those for tax-exempt organizations like the society. Asks more facts EPA stalls LNG p h Monday, October 24 The liquefied natural gas terminal roposed for Prudence Island should "be eloin Ihe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) told the Federal Power Commission (FPC) last week, until Ihe necessary environmental dala is provided. In a letter to FPC secretary Kenneth Plumb, EPA regional administrator William R. Adams Jr. said the final en- vironmental impacl statement prepared on the project "does not provide sufficient data to justify the slalf decision" that Prudence Island oranotheralternalivesite in Maine are environmentally acceptable. "The EPA isunable todelerminc the en- vironmental acceptability of Ihe project based on Ihe information provided in the environmental impact the let- ter said, urging the FPC not to make its final decision until that informalion is made available. The FPC docs not need EPA approval lo order the LNG terminal be buill on the south end of Prudence Island. But (he EPA could appeal such an order lo Ihe Presi- dent's Council on Environmental Quality. In his letter, Adams said thai a supplemental environmental impact state- menl rnusl be prepared, should Prudence be chosen as Die site for the project originally proposed by Tenneco for Canada. The FPC slaff lasl monlh said Prudence was a superior sile lo both the Maine and Canadian localions. The com- mission itself is not expccled lo make a decision until the end of the year. Adams said the major deficiency in the present impact statement is "the lack of substantive informalion concerning Ihe siting of the LNG lerminal." This is the same point Hhode Island made in testimony before Ihe commission last PERSONS WHO ORDINARILY use.Gate 10 at Naval Education and Training Center today found entrance padlocked because of 'a matter of adjusting to reduced number of according to NETC commander, Capt. Howard N. Kay. Employees at NETC are circulating petitions against move. (Charles H. Parker pholo) Monday, October 24 1977 surplus helps School deficit cut by third sludy is being undertaken lo determine the unfunded liafiilily of thetwosyslems to the Tuesday, October 25 A school deficit that had reached mil lion has been reduced to li 11 le more I ha n million, according to an annual financial audit of the city. The audit, prepared by Stephen G. Campos, a certified public accountant in Bristol, says the city finished the fiscal year June 30 with a surplus of and the School Deparlmenl finished with a surplus of The school surplus is the first surplus fdr Ihe School Department since 1973, accor- ding to a summary of school operations in the financial report. The summary shows deficils in all but three of the past 10 years for school opera- tions and says the deficit reached million by the close of the 1976 fiscal year. That deficit threatened to close schools early last year until the cily Council made a special appropriation to continue school operations and established a deficit reduc- tion program. Under Ihe deficit reduction program, the city will appropriate to the deficl each year until it is paid off. The city also applied the school surplus to Ihedeficit. Thedeficilreduclion, the surplus and a miscalculation the auditors found in the size of Ihe original deficit had reduced the deficit to as of lasl June 30, according lo Ihe financial statemenl. Another will be applied this year, which will bring the deficit to by next June. The financial stalemenl does nol include an eslimateof the unfunded liability for the police and fire pensions, which have been eslimated in Ihe past al more than million. The pension systems are on a "pay-as-you-go" basis and an actuarial city. The audit shows that the cily received during the past fiscal year and spent The School Department received and spent In a letter sending the report to the cily Council, Cily Manager Paul A. Steinbren- ner said the report contains a good in- dicator of what is happening lo property taxes in Ihe community. The indicator is the ratio of current tax levy to the eslimated true markel value of taxable properly. "The current ratio is 3.1 percent, which is Ihe same as the lax levy ralio in 1965 and "This means that taxes have only increased at the rate that inflation in housing costs is reflected in the assessed lax rolls" Layoffs affect hundreds Shipbuilders idled Wednesday, October 26 A General Dynamics spokesman eslimated today lhat several hundred peo- ple from Ihe Aquldneck Island and Jamestown would be directly affected by 700 planned layoffs at Quonset Point's Electric Boal facility, but said that no exact figures are available on how many EB workers live on the islands. Joseph Wornom, General Dynamics spokesman in Grolon, said the layoffs began yesterday at Quonsel andGrotonand would continue unlil approximalely workers are dismissed. He said these peo- ple helped develop plans for the 688-class and Trident submarines, Rhode Island is bracing for Ihe un- employment aftershock expected from the layoffs, bul Ihe full strenglh of thai shock will nol be felt for at least a monlh, said Peler J. Cormell, chief of public relations and informalion for the stale Deparlment of Employment Security. HesaidlhedepartmenlhasconsullcdEB officials al Quonset by telephone and told them the locations and hours of DES of- fices throughout the state. "We offered them our placement as well as out un- employment benefit services." he said. Wornom said that P. Takis Veliotis, who look over as the general managerat the EB Division Monday, has issued a statement which links the layoffs lo "Ihe streamlining of Ihe EB facilities, with an eye toward in- creasing productivity. He added the layoffs were "in the best in- leresls of Ihe U.S. Navy and themselves (General lledenied the move had anything todowilha Navy contractor Ihree more 688-class submarines which General Dynamics lost lo a Virginia ship- builder last month. The company has been trying lo get Ihe Navy to pay million for cost overruns in building 18 688-class altack submarines originally expected to cost million each, but now estimated locost more lhan million. Asked if Ihis had anything to do with, the Wornom said, "Of course the two are interrelated." but would nol elaborate. Veliotis has slated Ihal there is a possibility someoflheJ.OOOemployees will be hired back. William Lockwood, Soulheasl Cpnnec- licut Chamber of Commerce director, said yesterday the southern Conneclicut area will become Ihe "economic disasler area of the country" if all of the scheduled Grolon EB layoffs take place. James Stanley, chamber of commerce president in Norwich. Conn., 15 miles away, said Norwich residents are on the Groton division's payroll of and ihere is no way he knows of finding olher work in Ihe area. Slanley said he is "praying to God" all of Ihe layoffs won't be carried out. Veliotis flew to Washington loday for an emergency meeling with Sen. Abraham Kibicoff. D-Conn.; Sen Lowell I'. Wcicker, H-Conn.; Rep. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn.; Hep. Edward P. Beard. D-H.I.; Sen. Claiborne Pell. D-H.I.; and Sen. John Chafce, R-R.L. Uodd. who represenls the Grolon area, said yesterday he was angry lie was not told of the layoffs in advance. "I was not forewarned about this, and 1 consider Ihal lo be negligent. This is a drastic action and I would like lo know il every olher allernalive was taken." Beard said, "lam shocked at Ihis. llhink Ihis isonchellof aslap in Ihe face in Hhode Island." About one-third of Ihe workers at the Grolon yard are Hhode Island resi- dents. The layoffs were an abrupt about face by Eli, which had complained for months il could nol find enough help. Connccticul of- ficials had launched a massive recruiting cfforl. which included stale-funded job training and special Iransporlation to the planl from remote areas. Anthony DeGregory. who led the 10.000- member Metal Trades Council in Ihe longest blue-collar slrike in EB history in 1975, said. "It will be a severe blow lo the people. The firsl ones who would go are the unskilled workers." ilt is expected to issue his preliminary ecision on the projecl Nov. 2, wilh the full ommission deciding two months after month and in legal briefs (iled after the hearings. "We cannol agree with the staff's con- tention lhat sufficient informalion was provided on the environmental impacts associated wilh a terminal at the letter says. Specifically, Adams said Ihe terminal's potential impacls on air and water qualily were nol analyzed in delail, neitlier were the dredging requirement. "Nor were the impacts of pipelines from Prudence Island discussed Adams said. He said no studies were made of the potenlial emissions of nitrous and sodium oxides from the plant that would be build alongside the tanker terminal to turn the liquefied natural gas back into gas for pipeline iransmission. Adams said studies of the present water quality necessary to assess the potential impact from the ler- minal ilself were not made, nor were they done for the numerous river and wclland crossings for the pipeline. FPC administrative law judge Nahum Lilt is exp decision on commission Uiat. due users of power Monday, October 24 The state Public Utilities Commission today ordered Newport Electric Corp. lo refund lo its customers. The order also calls for the company to include In the refund interest accrued at a rate of 9 percent to the dale of the refund. Newport Eleclric had filed wilh the PUC an application for a decrease in its rates, tolls, and charges. The decrease Is at- tributed to a reduction in (he cost of power purchased from its wholesale supplier, the Montaup Electric Co. in Massachusetts. The refunds lo customers will be based on their usage over the period April, 1976 to June. 1977. The PUC said Ihe company agreed that refunds would be paid to customers who paid the original charges, ralher lhan being credited to future bills. During hearings on the refunds, Newport Eleclric noted Ihal a greal deal of work would be involved to locate customers who had moved. The company told the commis- sion that once a customer has discontinued service, the records are removed from Ihe computer and retrieval of Ihe informalion would have to bedone manually. Under the procedure, existing customers would receive a crediton Iheir bills. The company said refund checks would be mailed lo the last known address of cuslomers who had disconlinued service, it was estimated lhat abuot 10.000 customers had moved since Ihe refund period. The commission requested that Ihe com- pany report back periodically lo Ihe PUC on ils progesss in implementing the refund procedure. The commission also asked lhat Ihe company, afler making reasonable ef- forl lo locate customers to whom refunds arc due. file an accounting of the amounl not refunded. Holiday goes unobserved The federal version of Veterans Day wenl unobserved today by local veterans organizations who will hold off on their ceremonies unlil (he traditional Nov. 11 dale. All federal offices were closed loday as Uncle Sam observed the holiday for Ihe lasl lime. The federal government next year will return lo celebrating the holiday on Nov. II. Today was not a holiday in Rhode Island and most stales. Only Hawaii. Utah and Washington. D. C.. observed today as Veterans Day. With Ihe exception of Rhode Island, all other stales will observe the holiday Nov. 11. Independent Litlle Rhody will observe Ihe day all by itself Nov. 7. Leo G. DuTilly, past senior president of Ihe United Veterans Council and comman- der of Ihe Newport American Legion Posl. said local velerans groups will not observe Ihe stale holiday. Local velerans. instead. will observe the Iradilional Nov. 1 1 dale, he said. The traditional date marks the end of World War I on the I Ith hour of the lllhday of Ihe lllh monlh. Attempts to impose a tax have surfaced for more lhan four years. Last February, slate Sen. Charles G. Thomas introduced legislation in Ihe Senale that would allow the clly to collect a 10 per cent lax on any fees charged or donation sought for proper- lies owned by non-profil business organiza- tions. Sen Thomas said today the bill is not dead but is being held up in Ihe House Finance Committee. He refused to com- ment on the legislation. The Senate ap- proved the lax in March by a 26-16 vote. The suggested 10 per cent tax is "prelty high for an enterlainment said Por- ter. The society expects the lax issue lo resurface in Ihe 1J78 General Assembly. "We will be most surprised if it doesn't." Porler added. About would have been raised on Ihe society's admissions for 1976 with the 5 per cent tax. Ticket revenue totaled million. The lax, however, would not affect the society's budget for operating ils six Bellevue Avenue mansions, Hunter House No bus terminal on Washington Street, and Green Auinuls in Portsmouth. The possibility remains that a hijlivr ticket price would discourage visituis at a lime when most of New England's historical sights are experiencing a decrease in attendance, according to Per- ter. Tlie society, however, expects a 10 per cent attendance increase over lasl year's. "The more money n person has lo (jay. you're lowering the chances thai lie will said Porter. Many historical organizations have increased their finan- cial problems by raising admission cosls while attendance has declined, he added. The society is loving reluctantly will] the possibility of increasing atlmission prices. Porler said. "We're nervous. Inour near Is. we don'l want lo increase Ihe fee. We hope we don'l have too, but inflation is rising rapidly" he added. "Newport is missing revenue [mm tourism and il wuuld be a relief to the taxpayers lo have the exlra income, llul the question is applying it uniformly (u all cnlcrlainmenl." Porler siiid. Agency object Tuesday, October 25 The Redevelopment Agency last night voled unanimously against converting the former Bonanza Bus station lo a main- tenance garage for Wbuses. Last week, the stale said thai it wanted the city lobuy the station and adjacenl land with Community Development Funds. The cily Council is expected to vole on the request tomorrow. The agency also voted in favor of the "concept" of the Broadway-West Broadway plan prepared for it by Dona! Simpson Associates of this city and Economics Research Associates of Boston. Members said Ihe clly should give the area first priority for development. Agency member M. Thomas Perrotti said ihal a bus maintenance garage could be pul somewhere else on the island and thai such a use at Ihe former bus terminal would be bad for Ihe area. "The garage would be lax free, and cause Iraffic congestion and pollution in the he said. The annual lax revenue from the properly is about member Fred R. Alofsin also noted that the lax rate would go up, if the slate took over the property and thai such an action would inhibit proper develop- ment of Ihe area. According to the Simpson plan, the terminal should be converted to a police slalion. The plan calls for closing Street lo through traffic. The putdiase price of Ihe property is estimated al "Because of ils proximily to other cily offices, good access to both Broadway and West Broadway, size and location in an above averaee crime the pjiippily should be made inlo a station, Ihe report said. The plan also calls for making the Paramount Block a relail area, willi demolition of some buildings for parking. Cost of the projecl Is expected lo lie The plan recommended that the NUJICS building, now owned by Ihe agency, lias excellent potential for reuse as a model ale sized supermarket with an 85 to 120-car parking lot on the building's east side. The plan seeks more Iraffic on West Broadway by improving the intersections at West Broadway and Marlburough Slreel, and Broadway at Equality Park Wesl, change traffic directions on sevcrnl strecls, improve traffic direction signs and increase on-slrcel parking on Broadway, south of Marlborough. Police deny they dra feet on crime-fighting Tuesday, October 25 The Newport Fraternal Order of Police today criticized a statement by the city manager that the FOP is unenthusiaslic about new crime lighting programs. William L. Amaral, president of thelocal FOP lodge, crilidzcd the use of civilian police dispatchers and said lhat despite the addition of 10 men lo the police force, the force is below full slrenglh. Amara! said the FOP supported Ihe reinstilution of Ihe police tactical squad and (he FOP had opposed the abolition of the lac squad when it was disbanded three years ago. Those Ihrceprogram were referred toby Cily Manager Paul A. Steinbrenner in explaining the police response lo increased crime during 1976. He said he hoped lo make other changes in the department and added, "Quite frankly Ihe Fraternal Older of Police has been less than enthusiastic, about new programs." Amaral said the FOP expressed "strong disappointment" with Sleinbiennci's remark and said it was'ridiculous" lor him lo say thai. "We simply haven't seen any new programs." he said "Let us loudly express to you, Ihe citizen and taxpayer, Ihal we in Ihe Fraternal Or- der of Police arc wholeheartedly fur any program that will stop, deter or reduce crime in any way, shape or form." Amaral said. He said the police would applaud any con- structive program lhat is practical anil safe. He said the use of civilian dispatchm has riot proved lo be a deterenl lo crime nur does it help Ihe citizen who calls the police. KILLED LAST NIGHT by loose household dogs at Naval Underwater Systems Center land is this 95-pound yearling doc, being held by conservation'officer Richard Jackson. Jackson and his fellow Department ol Natural Ucsotirci's game warden, Dave Tyler, said NUSC guard saw two Huskies and (jciiiuin Shepherds in area where dead doe was found this morning. They said dogs slur- led caling animal while it still was alive. Officers expressed fear that domestic dogs, once they have tasted blood, will be back for more. (Edward (liiijjh'.v pholo) I'ridav. October 21   

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