New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 9, 1983, New Braunfels, Texas
4A New Braunfels HeraldZeitung Sunday, January 9,1983OpinionsHerald-Zeitimg
Dave Kramer, General Manager Robert Johnson, Editor
4Not everyone has lost the gift of conversation
The best conversationalists are people whose stories or ideas have a definite beginning and a definite ending. The bores are the ones who talk on and on without ever making a point.
The other night we had Pranas I.ape. an old friend, to dinner and I not thinking afterward that he's one of the best conversationalists I know. He has original ideas, serious thoughts and usually punctuates them with a twist that makes everyone laugh.
Pranas lives a monastic existence on the coast of Maine, painting huge canvases of abstract art and living off the fish lie catches, the vegetables he grows and the mushrooms lie finds iii the woods. He buys an occasional
bottle of ketchup toward the end of winter when the things he froze don’t taste as good as they did when they were fresh. He can live, he says, on $3,000 a year.
Pranas left Lithuania as a young man 30 years ago and he still speaks with a heavy accent. He uses the Anglish language with great directness but with very little regard for traditional grammar. When he speaks there’s no doubt about what he means, although the words are never arranged the way I would have arranged them.
“He is already going for long time with this program," Pranas will say of President Reagan. “Veil vill it do something except bad?"
I have never liked Pranas’s paintings, but I think that's more my shortcoming than his. I simply don’t understand the ideas hr’s trying to express with his shapes and colors. I’ve never dismissed him as a painter, though, because I assume he has as many good times when he’s painting as when he’s talking.
“Put all the MX missiles to, ethel one six puck on a remote island in tile Pacific Ocean.” he says. “Make them so they could be shot off by remote control from someplace else. Tell the Russians exactly where the island is. Keep a few nuclear weapons on board submarines and heavy bombers. If the Russians ever declare war on us, they’d first have to destroy that island
with all our missies “six-packed" on it.
“Our missiles would be destroyed but no American would be killed and no city would be destroyed, but at the instant the island was destroyed, we’d know we were at war with Russia and we could strike with our other weapons."
Everything at dinner reminds Pranas Papa of a story. He has a Lithuanian friend who exchanges letters w ith her family in her Russian-dominated homeland. The letters are often censored, so the woman arranged a code with her family. They include pictures with their letters, lf the picture shows the family standing, things are going well. If the
family is sitting, tilings are not so good.
“Last time she get letter,“ Pranas says, “they are ly mg on floor."
We had wine w ith dinner and even that reminded Pranas of a story . A summer neighbor of his, Roger Fessaguet, is one of the fine chegs in America and owner of La Caravelle Restaurant in New York. Roger invited several other chefs to Maine for a weekend and Pranas was asked to dinner. One of the chefs, a reknowned wine expert, had brought several rare old bottles of Bordeaux. When the first bottle was opened, each guest tasted it. Some expressed doubt about the wine. Others, not wishing to offend their friend who had brought it. w ithheld their opinion.
When the chef who had brought the wine tasted it, he quickly spit it out.
“Undrinkable vinegar!" he declared.
A second bottle was opened. Each chef tasted it and their reaction was good this time. Then the expert who brought it .swished it around in his mouth.
“Magnificent,” he said. “One of the best I have ever tasted."
“So," Pranas said at our dinner table, “I taste both wines. I try first one, then other. I cannot tell difference. Both same!" He roars with laughter.
If every table had a conversationalist like Pranas, we wouldn't need television.
10 years ago today
New year baby Stephanie Farias. first Comal County arrival of 1973, was born 17 minutes into the New Year at McKenna Memorial Hospital. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Pedro Farias. She was expected to be a 1972 tax deduction, arriving in mid-December. Instead, she is the winner of all the baby contest prizes awarded by Bi local merchants.
Although construction plans came to a near standstill iii December, the city recorded its best building year during 1972. Total permits issued iii 1972 were $8,887,887.87 as compared w itll $8.3%. 1(17 31 for 1971.
The land evaluation equalization program is running about 30-40 days behind schedule, according to Judge Max Wonunack County land is being re-evaluated by Veil ma ii Associates iii a program which was scheduled to tx* completed by Jan. I. but the Commissioner Court was told during last week s Thursday meeting that there would be a delay iii the project.
Over $12,000 iii prizes will be awarded t > Texas’ Junior Miss of 1973 aud the four runners-up at the annual pageant which begins Sunday with the
arrival of 20 con testa lits from around the state. New Braunfels’ representative iii the pageant is Claudia Hagen
Canyon Lake Bank has received final approval from the federal government and will open its doors for the first time for total business Friday K. Harrison Preston is chairman of the board.
Victories over Richfield and Jefferson and losses to Central Catholic and Roosevelt pushed the New Braunfels Unicorns* season basketball record to 10-9. The Unicorns defeated Richfield 33-33 and Jefferson 84-03. but lost 73-71 to Central Catholic and 34-40 to Roosevelt. Leroy Baerwald scored HO points for New Braunfels iii the four games, including a season high la against Hit* Buttons.
Ilk' Canyon Cougarettes won two
close games this week, beating Karnes City 41-40 and Dripping Springs. 33-31. Janet Link was high scorer against Dripping Springs with 22 points, w hile Sharleiie Salim led the way against Karnes City with 18.
25 years ago today
Approval of the $2.3 million Yorks Creek Watershed flood control project by the United States Bureau of the Budget was announced Tuesday by Hep. John Young in a telegram to the Herald and Zeitung. The project calls for hi flood control structures iii Comal, Hays and Guadalupe counties and 19 miles of chunnel.
Purchases of 1937 poll taxes numbered 840 as of Friday. according to Deputy Tax Collector Harry E. Adams. The total number of poll taxes issued amounted to 1,273; of these. 133 were issued on exemptions.
Out of the 233 marriage licenses issued iii 1937 in Comal County, June, the traditional month for marriages, led the way with 29 licenses issued, according to statistics from County Clerk Otto Rohde’s office.
Hearing a police radio broadcast of a stolen car report w hile at the police station to procure a bicycle license.
Sidney Wright, 14, of 321 W. Mill, hupped on his bicycle and returned later with the stolen vehicle’s license number written on his arm. He had remembered seeing a vehicle matching the police description near his home. Police recovered the vehicle, and the owner gave Sidney a $2 reward.
Bill Lehman, a 8-1, 210-pound guard on the Texas Lutheran College football team, was named to the AllpTexas College mythical football squad picked by the Dallas Morning News. liftman was a four-sport letterman at New Braunfels High School.
The New Braunfels Unicorns won
both games scheduled during the Christmas holidays, defeating Luling 83-31 and Pleasanton 87-33. Center K. Tumliiisnii was the high point man against Luling with 14, while I’. Buskc led the Unicorns with 23 against Pleasanton.
50 years ago today
BULLETIN A flash from United Press at 1312 p.iii. today follows:
Northhampton, Mass (UP) Calvin Coolidge died suddenly of heart disease at 12:43 this afternoon. He had lived in retirement since lie left tile White House March 4, 1929. Health had been good and had caused unconcern as far as had been known
A program featuring New Braunfels talent will be given over radio station RTSA every Friday, according to an announcement. Tonight's program will feature Dorothy Ehlinger and Roma koepp singing a group of selected songs. Lee Kohlenberg, instrumentalist, Mrs. Kuhn, accompanist; and Benne Neuse, speaker
According to information received at the Herald office up to this present time, it appears that little miss Grace Timmermann will probably have the distinction of being tile first baby born
in Comal County in 1933 and will, therefore, tx* tile recipient of the many gifts which the New Braunfels merchants will welcome the first-comer of the new year. Grace arrived here only six hours and 30 minutes after that other youngster, Master 1933 Mrs. Bertha Frueholz, M.D., ushered little miss Timmermann into this life. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ottomar Timmermann.
Four new officials were among the 20 county officials who were sworn in at the Courthouse Monday. All of the officers took tile oath from County Clerk Richard Ludwig, with the exception of himself. Ludwig was sworn into office by the deputy clerk, Miss Prosko The four new officers who will serve Comal County for the coming term are: B.W. Klingemann, county judge; Hugo Neuse, Comm. Pct. I; W.O, Fischer, Justice of the Peace Pct. 6; and Herbert Luersen, Constable, Pet. 5
Two workers died gruesome deaths from allegedly 'safe' pesticide
In another fox-in-the-henhouse horror story, Reagan administration regulatory officials have dragged their feet for a year on an urgent recommendation to ban a deadly poison that was used to spray California fruit during the Medfly crisis.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s top toxic-substances of ficial, John Todhunter, used to be an adviser to a group funded by the chemical industry. He’s the one who pronounced the pesticide ethylene dibromide, or EPB far safer than smoking a single cigarette. Yet two California chemical-plant workers died in September from exposure to EDR.
The two men, who had entered an empty E1)B storage tank, were overcome within seconds anil died gruesome deaths within a few days “Every organ system iii their body decayed," said Dr. Richard Wade, a state health official. “They turned bright green. Their skin fell off.. They were rotting before they died
Wade said that EPB, a potent human carcinogen, attacks the nucleus of a cell. It is, he said, "literally a killer.” Wade noted that the two workmen were exposed to “a pretty weak solution” of the chemical — about 200 parts per million That’s IO times the allowable federal exposure standard.
Farmworkers, unions and scientists at the prestigious National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health haw urged the government at least to strengthen the federal EPB exposure
standard to no avail.
At the EPA. dust has been gathering oil a December 1980 “position document” that recommended an immediate ban on the use of EPB on stored grain, and a phaseout of its use as a fruit spray by July 1983 A decision is finally ex-pected sometime next month.
But a year ago, when EPB was used as a Medfly spray, Todhunter poohpoohed the pesticide’s danger to workers and consumers though National Cancer Institute studies had shown it to be a potent eaneer-causer.
In a handwritten memo seen by my associate John Dillon, Todhunter put down the danger of a single exposure to EPB as “HH) times less than the risk of smoking one cigarette in your life."
This rosy assessment was contradicted in an internal memo by a top EPA scientist, Adrian Gross, w ho also informed the California health agency that the federal EPB exposure standard of 20 parts per million was not safe. “I do not know of any regulated chemical,” he wrote, “which had (produced) as many malignant tumors of a very unusual variety ” iii laboratory animals.
There’s another federal agency that should be concerned about EPB — the Occupational Safety and Health Administration — but unfortunately for workers in chemical plants and orchards, OSHA has been as relaxed as the EPA about the deadly pesticide. The agency has been considering a rule change on EPB’s handling for more than a year.
Even prodding by Dr. J. Donald Millar, assistant surgeon general ill charge of the safety and health institute, failed to move OSHA off its bureaucratic behind An OSHA source told my reporter James Crawford that OSHA and the EPA are still squabbling over which agency lias jurisdiction over w Inch w orkers.
The do-nothing attitude of OSHA and EPA officials suits EPB’s manufacturer, Pow Chemical, just fine. Pow insists that the stuff is virtually harmless and needs no “ceiling limit” whatsoever. Dow’s submission to OSHA explained: “Setting a ceiling limit is only required when an acute exposure has been demonstrated to produce an adverse irreversible health effect oils life-threatening; such is not the case with EPB." As the two California deaths made appallingly clear, such is precisely the case with EPB.
Footnote: As I reported last May, Todhunter is the EPA official who ordered an agency scientist to tone down a report that showed formaldehyde fumes were cancer-causing. The scientist refused to twist the facts, and eventually quit.
Danish Invasion: Columbus, Ohio, will soon get $300,(HH) worth of foreign aid from Denmark under a deal worked out with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Samuel Pierce. Danish engineers w ill set up a demonstration “district heating”
nrini‘i‘1 in Columbus rouveline heat
that would otherwise be wasted to homes and offices through a network of underground steam tunnels.
American competitors are understandably melancholy over tile Panes’ success in penetrating the U.S. market. Though Richard Eckfield, an industry spokesman, doesn't fault the Panes for their “excellent selling job” at HUP, he argues that the agency should “push with equal vigor for a national policy" to support district heating projects iii Northern cities.
HUP official Stewart Sloame, who invited the Panes in, said that the Columbus project should benefit U.S. and Danish manufacturers equally . Meanwhile, he said, “Nobody’s looking a gift horse in the mouth, if the Panes want to put half a million dollars into Columbus, God bless ‘em."Confidential File: As a
revolutionary who orchestrated his government’s overthrow from exile, the Ayatollah Khomeini is understandably nervous about Iranians living abroad. He particularly wants to keep tabs on Iranian students in this country.
Recently, the Iranian Interest Section in Washington sent letters to various colleges requesting information on any and all Iranian students not just their names, but the addresses of their families in Iran. One outraged dean, Marvin Farbstein of Hood College in frederick, Md., pointed out that federal law forbids giving out such information without the students’ permission.