New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 27, 1983, New Braunfels, Texas
Most trees find a home for Christmas
By DYANNEFRY Staff writar
The Christmas tree business is just about as seasonal as a business can get. It may take a year-round effort to put out the product, but all the selling is done in the last month. That’s when the money comes in, too.
No amount of promotion would induce people to buy Christmas trees in July, unless they were artifical ones at bargain-basement prices. A good ad campaign might get the real
trees moving earlier — say, a few days before Thanksgiving. But there’s nothing a salesman can do about the other end of the buying period. That’s fixed by the calendar.
A Christmas tree is no good after Dec. 25. It can’t be marked down; it can’t be passed off in the post-Yuletide white sales. It becomes a piece of non-merchandise.
So what do merchants do with those leftover Christmas trees?
Around Comal County, the problem doesn’t come up as often as one might expect. The
sellers have the market figured pretty well. If anything, the trees tend to run out before the customers do.
TG&Y, located in the Courtyard Shopping Center, had 18 trees still waiting for homes at 6 p.m. on Dec. 20. By mid-morning Dec. 22, the number was down to eight. “They’ll be sold by about five o’clock today,” said confident comanager Nieves Gonzales, “because we’re going to mark them down to rock-bottom prices.”
Manard Ivy, manager of Wuest’s grocery on
San Antonio Street, said he didn’t usually have trees left over either. If he does, he confessed he’d just throw them away.
“There’s no great ceremony about it... they just go on the trash heap like everything else,” he said.
Faced with that alternative, merchants tend to get less protective of their trees as Christmas approaches. “I think there’s three out there,” Ivy said last Tuesday. “Right now, we’re just leaving them out there, and if somebody takes one, we don’t say too much
The New Braunfels Optimists, who support their community projects by selling Christmas trees each year, have a pragmatic approach. They order between 1,150 and 1,200 trees each year, and set them up in the parking lot at Walnut Square. They stay until the trees are all gone, or until the volunteer salesmen get cold feet and noses, whichever comes first. In the latter case, they call the
See TREES, Page 8A
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TUESDAY December 27, 1983 25 cents
Vol. 92 - No. 257
2 Sections — 16 Pages
Reagan takes blame for Marine deaths
WASHINGTON I AP* - President Reagan today took responsibility for permitting 241 U S. servicemen to become victims of the Oct. 23 truck-bombing of a Marine Corps headquarters building in Beirut At a meeting with reporters shortly before starting a vacation trip to California, Reagan said local military commanders should not be punished for failing to provide sufficient security because they did not fully understand the threat posed by terrorists "If there is to be blame, it should rest in this office and with this president." Reagan said. “I accept this responsibility."
A report issued last week by the House Armed Services investigations subcommittee blamed all levels of the chain of command for permitting the lax security It particularly tingled out Col Timothy J. Geraghty, then commander of the Marine peacekeeping unit, for serious errors in lodgment in failing to provide better protection for his troops ”
But. without naming anyone. Reagan said it was unfair to punish local commanders for not “fully
comprehending” the threat posed by terrorists.
Reagan said a report issued by a Pentagon-appointed commission noted that by tradition and training, U.S. military forces have not been prepared to deal with attacks by terrorists, “and I heartily agree ”
But the president said this should not compel the United states to pull out of lebanon, saying, “the problem of terrorism will not disappear if we run from it.”
Under questioning, Reagan also said he did not want the loved ones of the servicemen killed in the blast to think that the lives had been given in vain.
He also said there were signs that the Marines “were laying the foundations for peace” in lebanon and said the nation "is on the verge of national reconciliation.”
The Reagans left Washington and headed west for their traditional year-end holiday rn law Angeles and the desert resort town of Palm Springs, Calif
The Reagans, who spent the See REAGAN, Page UA
Citrus growers work to salvage crops
HARLINGEN i API — Farm hands labored to harvest frozen oranges that could still be salvaged for juice, while growers, ironically, hoped enough cold weather would linger to protect the fruit until it could be processed “We don’t expect it to get cold enough to damage any more trees, and the fruit is gone already,” said Ray Prewitt, executive vice president of Texas Citrus Mutual, a growers association Prewitt said that once the fruit falls off the trees it begins rotting immediately. It usually takes less than a week after a freeze for citrus to begin falling Cold weather will help protect the fruit from
rotting while being picked and transported.
Only about 25 percent of the grapefruit crop and 40 percent of the early oranges had been harvested before arctic temperatures swept across the tropical Rio Grande delta at Texas' most southern point last weekend “All of the crop has been lost as far as fresh fruit is concerned,” said The loss in fresh fruit is currently estimated at 130 million, but Prewitt said “it will still be a couple of weeks before we can get a handle on tree damage.”
However, enough trees were damaged by the freeze to “substantially reduce” next year’s citrus crop, he said.
I>ess than half the Valley’s growers had any insurance on trees or crops, Prewitt said.
It is still too early to say if the freeze will put some growers out of business But following two y ears of depressed market pm es, he said, “this freeze will have much more serious consequences than those of previous years. For a lot of growers, this weather will make survival pretty rough.”
Farmers and hired hands rushed Monday to begin harvesting what remains of this year’s crop, frozen and hanging on the trees. The fruit will be trucked to one of three Valley juice processing plants where it will be squeezed and converted to concentrate
Salvaging the orange crop presents grower^ with a different problem About (kl percent of the early oranges and IOO percent of Ute late Valencia oranges will need to be harvested in the next 21 days.
If tile watt is too long and the weather too warm, a lot of oranges will rot iii tilt- trucks, he said
Many Valley grapefruit growers aren’t sure salvaging their crop for |uice is such a good idea A similar freeze three years ago in Texas and Florida caused growers to rush grapefruit to juice plant, resulting in a glut on tile market that has lasted through the current year and kept market prices low.
Andropov appears to have gained political strengthInside
MOSCOW (API — New additions to the Politburo suggest that Communist Party leader Yuri V. Andropov has strengthened his Kremlin influence despite an illness that has kept hun out of public view since summer.
Andropov, 69, was absent Monday when the Communist Party Central Committee added two full members and one alternate to the ruling Politburo and announced an addition to the powerful secretariat.
The former KUB chief came to power 13 months ago through sophisticated maneuvering within the secretive Politburo after the death of Leonid I. Brezhnev. But he has not been seen in public since an Aug. IS meeting in Moscow with a group of UJ5. senators.
He said in a printed speech distributed to the 300-plus member body that "temporary causes” prevented him from attending the biannual policy setting conference.
It is believed that Andropov suffers kidney and heart problems, and he was briefly hospitalized last spring The official Kremlin explanation for his unprecedented absence from major public and party gatherings was that he has a cold, and spokesmen maintain he is not seriously ill.
It is assumed Andropov also will miss the Supreme Soviet, or parliament, that convenes on Wednesday. Ha is chairman of the presidium of the Supreme Soviet and normally would bs expected to appear.
His absence from the party gatherings, and from the Bolshevik Revolution anniversary celebrations last month, including the Nov. 7 Red Square parade, would typically be to the advantage of Politburo rivals.AP Analysis
But major statements continue to be issued in Andropov’s name and las chief Politburo rival, Konstantin U. Chernenko, 72, has not assumed any new prominence. It was not immediately known if Chernenko was at the Central Conuuittee plenary session, as there was no list of those attending
The two men promoted to full Politburo membership, Mikhail S. Solomentsev, 70, and Vitaly I. Vorotnikov, 57, are in fact considered to be adversaries of the Chemenko-led faction of holdovers from the Brezhnev years.
KGB chief Viktor M. Chebnkov, 60, was named alternate member of the Politburo, and Yegor K. Ligachev, 63, was named to the 11-member secretariat, similar to a cabinet.
Solomentsev and Vorotnikov could be looked upon as Andropov backers.
Apparently now in the minority are those considered to lean toward Chernenko Premier Nikolai A. Tikhonov, 78; Moscow party leader Viktor V. Grishin, 69; Kazakhstan party leader Dinmuhamed A. Kunaev, 71, and Foreign Minister Andrei A. Gromyko, 74.
The two promotions on the Politburo bring the ruling circle from ll members, the lowest in years due to deaths and retirements that began in January IMI, to 13.
Whether Monday’s announcements represent a clear swing of support to Andropov is difficult to say, but clearly personnel sympathetic to his views have gained entry to the irner circle.Today's Weather
Comal County will see warmer temperatures today and tomorrow, but it won t last. Today was expected to be mostly cloudy, with winds from the southwest near IO miles per hour and a high near 50 degrees. Tonight’s low should be near 40, and winds from the west at 10-15 mph. Wednesday may see a high in the mid-40s, but a dry cold front will push temperatures back into the nud-30s by late afternoon Winds will be from the north at 15-20 mph and gusty. Sunset today will be at 5:40 p.m., and sunrise Wednesday at 7:25 a m.Hope's Back
Costumes got stranded on the wrong ship, band instruments got lost, and there was a blackout not called for in the script, but Rope Hope persevered. He brought down the curtain Monday on his 31st tour overseas for U.S. troops with one of the most tumultuous shows of his career See Page 1BCowboys Chilled
Before the smallest crowd in recent memory, on the coldest day in recent memory, the I^os Angeles Rams handed the Dallas Cowboys a season-ending loss Monday in Irving. The loss was Dallas’ third straight. Sports. Page 6A
CLASSIFIED ...............7 8B
Entex asks industries to curtail gas usage
Entex Inc. was asking south Texas to go easy un the natural gas Tuesday, hoping to forestall a real shortage in Valero’s pipelines.
The south Texas district, including Comal County, vias plated under curtailment at 8 a. rn. Sunday. WestPomt Pepperell’s textile mills are running on fuel oil stored for just such emergencies. Conroy Inc. has been asked not to use natural gas for manufacturing, and residential customers are being asked to conserve as much as possible, said district manager Robert Jones.
“We’re asking our customers to use natural gas for human neeus only,” said Jones Ifs only a request at this point, but he added, “If we don’t get enough volunteer help, we’ll have to go out and physically curtail them.”
He said the curtailment was expected to last through Tuesday, and that there was a 50 percent chance of its being extended “It all depends on the weather,” Jones said
This week’s record cold lias placed an unusual draw an the natural gas supply. "Valero has more gas coming out cd their pipeline system than they’re actually able to pun«p in from their reservoirs,” Jones said lf that went on, the flow of gas could be alternated The company chose instead to curtail use, hoping this would enable it to keep the lines full
Sofar, it seems to be wof king. Jones said the net loss ended at 2 p m Sunday There is no longer more gas going out than theie is coming in But “It’s still not at a good opiating level,” Jones said
He said residential customers didn t need to worry about their gas being cut off, but has asked them not to waste the fuel “It wouldn't be a good day to do your laundry,” he added.
Jones compared tile situation to driving a car when tile tank is lew.
“You can keep on tile way you're going, but you’re don’t want to be speeding And you need to start looking for anotiier gas station,” he said
From the gas company’s standpoint, Christmas was a good tune tor this record cold wave lo happen Some of the largest natural-gas customers (General Portland Inc., Coleman and Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos) are down for the holidays, and wouldn't be using much gas, anyway.
Coleman closed its plant on FM 306 Friday, and doesn’t plan to re-opeu until Jan 2. General Portland’s Balcones plant is closed for three weeks, because "our silos were full,” said plant manager J.T Hill GPI buys its gas directly from Valero as a
See ENTEX, Page 6A
j 'att pet. A, Jctut tenter
Parking in the bed of a pick up truck is a hard thing to do. However, in case somebody wanted to try it, the owner of this truck is ready to stop them.