New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 28, 1980, New Braunfels, Texas
Taylor Communication* Inc
cents November 28,1980
uicoflim Center Comp, r. u, Box 36
callas, 'Hex ai 75235
S Vol. 89 - No. 112 20 Pages — 2 Sections
New Braunfels, TexasJghts :o glow shortly
Walter Faust will ring the Cour-louse bells. Santa Claus will ride up an Antonio Street on a fire truck.
'olice will block traffic.
And all around Main Plaza at dusk 'uesday, colored lights will shine.
'eople will gather. Carols will fill the ir.
Hey, ifs Christmas, brought to you ly the Downtown Merchants Association, the City of New Braunfels, he Wurstfest Association, New Braunfels Utilities, Comal Independent den's Association — let’s see, have we eft anyone out?
Of course! I Laverne Eberhard, the -voman who coordinated all these people and put the celebration together.
‘ We learned a lot last Christmas. It was the first time we’d done it in years and years. We thought it was well-planned, but we didn’t anticipate the crowds,” Eberhard, a member of the City Council, said in an interview.
This year, police will block traffic to Main Plaza for about an hour, starting shortly before 5:30 p.m., to reduce the danger to pedestrians.
‘ Walter Faust will play the Courthouse bells as people gather.”
Don Roberts and his award-winning barbershop quartet will also entertain. Then, at about 5:30 p.m., Eberhard will throw a switch, and the Plaza will light up like a Christmas tree. Some $3,500 in lighting has been installed on every building facing the Plaza, including the County Jail, and on many of the trees as well.
The city donated $1,500, with Downtown Merchants and the Wurstfest Association paying the balance. Utilities donated the installation manpower.
‘‘When the lights go on, that’s the signal for Santa to set out from the fire station.”
And Santa this year will be preceded by the New Braunfels Middle School Band. The band will continue to play after Mr. Claus reaches the Plaza and starts distributing goodies to the kids.
“I^ast year, Santa got mobbed. This time, it’ll be a little more orderly.
CIMA is helping Santa out, supplying some of the goodies.”
The whole affair should last about an hour.
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Coast Guard says it must be stricter
WASHINGTON I AP) - The U.S.
Coast Guard says it has learned some tragic lessons about the qualifications and training of its shipboard personnel in the past two years from the sinkings of the cutters Cuyahoga and Blackthorn.
But the Guard’s commandant says the cost of that information — the lives of 34 seamen who died when the ships wont to the bottom of the sea following collisions with merchant ships — was too high.
‘‘I think from both these casualties has come a recognition, at least in respect to rules of the road, that we need to be a little stricter about the qualifications of our people who are going to sea,” said Adm. John B.
During an interview here, Hayes reflected on the tragedies the subsequent scrutiny given to training for sea-going personnel.
I^ast January, the Coast Guard suffered its worst peacetime disaster when the Blackthorn collided with the 605-foot oil tanker Capricorn in the Tampa Bay shipping channel.
The Blackthorn, a buoy tender heading home to Galveston, after several months in drydock, sank minutes after the collision, taking 23 of its crewmen to the murky bottom of the bay. Twenty-seven men, including the .skipper and executive officer, survived the accident.
The Cuyahoga went down in Chesapeake Bay Oct. 20, 1978, moments after it collided with the * Aventine ship Santa Cruz ll. Eleven of
the 29 Coast Guardsmen aboard died.
“I’ve become convinced, as a result of (the accidents) and some other things that I had undertaken before these casualties occurred, that we need to do a better job of training our people,” Hayes said.
'And I also think we need better training in every mission and every area of the Coast Guard as well as in the operational schools.”
Following the Blackthorn tragedy, a Marine Board of Inquiry conducted extensive hearings and concluded in preliminary "findings of fact” that the officer at the helm of the cutter, Ut. j.g. John Ryan, 29, didn’t know proper whistle signals and course changes.
Hayes, who is reviewing a soon-to-be-released final report on the accident, refused to judge the actions of Ryan or Blackthorn skipper Ut. Cmdr. George J. Sepel. But he said he disagreed with separate findings by the National Transportation Safety Board that the disaster was caused by a lack of training.
“Understand I am not judging their culpability,” Hayes said. “But I will judge, to the extent that it is appropriate to do, what happened with respect to who is at fault when I make my final decision on the report of the board.
“However, if you want to then go to the casualties themselves and say Were they caused by a lack of training?’ the answer I would have to give you is no.”
"I think it will be clear, if it hasn’t been clear already, that the basic
errors that occurred were errors in judgment. And you don’t train judgment. You train the knowledge to exercise judgment.
"I think it is important to make that distinction,” the admiral said. “We learn from the casualties ... but as far as the cause of the casualties being a lack of training, no, I would not ascribe either of those two accidents to a lack of training.”
Hayes said Coast Guard officials in the New Orleans-based 8th District are close to deciding whether Sepel and Ryan should be court-martialed.
The commandant said he would leave the decision on whether to convene a court-martial to 8th District commander Adm. Paul Yost.
“I did order a court-martial in the Cuyahoga for a different set of reasons and circumstances and my judgment, in retrospect, is that probably was an error on my part. I would have been better advised to leave it in the hands of the district commander
“This time, however, having benefited, if you can call that sort of tragedy something you can benefit from, I decided to let the immediate Coast Guard commander make that decision," Hayes said.
In the Cuyahoga case, the cutter’s skipper, Chief Warrant Officer Donald K. Robinson, was charged with the felony of negligently hazarding the vessel. But he was convicted of the lesser charge of dereliction of duty and received the minimum sentence — a written reprimand and the loss of 200 seniority points.
Polish strikers warned
Staff photoTree trimmingThe Christmas tree on Main Plaza is so tall that New Braunfels Utilities workers have to use a lift to place the star on the top. The lights on the plaza will be officially turned on Tuesday at dusk.
WARSAW, Poland (AP) - Poland’s largest independent trade union called off a strike readiness alert at Warsaw-area plants today after workers at a steel mill heeded an appeal by union leader Lech Walesa and ended their strike.
Walesa, clearly upset over the labor movement’s frequent use of strikes and their use in support of political demands, told a rally of 10,000 workers
that “rockets and tanks" could be the response to a serious confrontation in this Soviet bloc nation.
The end of the half-day strike at Huta Warszawa and cancellation of the strike alert appeared to have ended a labor crisis that erupted over the arrest of a union worker and once threatened to trigger a general strike around Warsaw.
Workers at Huta Warszawa began
returning to their jobs at 6 a.m., some three hours after they agreed to end the strike during a series of meetings at the plant and deliberations with senior government officials.
Walesa, who led the August strikes along the Polish coast in which the independent labor movement was born, flew to Warsaw from Gdansk to take part in deliberations at the plant.Optimism surfaces against California fires
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) -While capricious "devil winds” subsided, firefighters took to the air with water tankers and battled flames on doorsteps as they began to turn the tide in the fight against blazes that have scorched 80,000 acres.
"Overall, it is looking pretty optimistic,” Joanna Guttman of the U.S. Forest Service said Thursday.
Four people have been killed and 319 buildings damaged or destroyed since the rash of fires, one of the worst in
Southern California history, began Monday.
Howling Santa Ana winds up to IOO mph had sent flames leaping over highways and surging through neighborhoods.
But the winds declined as the week wore on, and the 30 mph gusts Thursday enabled firefighters to make their first widespread use of air tankers to drop water and fire retardant on the seven blazes still burning. Three have been extinguished.
Firefighters raced from house to
house Thursday to save buildings in the small community of Devore northwest of San Bernardino as the Panorama fire, the most destructive of the blazes, swept out of the hills.
Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr., meanwhile, joined several hundred firefighters for a Thanksgiving feast at the Sycamore fire camp north of San Bernardino. Special meals were prepared for all of the more than 6,000 firefighters, some of whom came from as far away as New York and Texas.
Brown also toured the fire-ravaged
Northpark sector of San Bernardino where 253 homes were destroyed or damaged on Monday — and said the area looked "Uke some kind of a war zone.”
He said he hoped President Carter would make low-interest loans available to people who lost their homes. The state has asked that the federal government declare an official disaster in all six counties where the fires have been burning.
Residents of several endangered San Bernardino mountain communities
were permitted to return to their homes on Thanksgiving Day as firefighters grew more hopeful they were gaining the upper hand in the fight.
The 19,950-acre Panorama fire, which has damaged or destroyed 271 structures, was 30 percent contained, and officials could not predict when they would have it under control.
A fire is contained when a fire line has been formed around it to prevent it from spreading. It is controlled when it has essentially been extinguished.
Two of the blazes, the lakeland fire in Riverside County and the Sycamore fire in San Bernardino County, were 80 percent contained Thursday evening and full containment was expected today.
The mountain communities of Twin Peaks and Rim Forest along the northern perimeter of the Panorama fire had been evacuated, but residents were allowed to return Thursday.
Residents also were permitted to return in the Devore Heights area to the west, she said.
12-term representative's victory no help in overcoming her illness
CHEVERLY, Md. (AP) - While physicians and family keep watch inside the hospital where Rep. Gladys Noon Spellman lies hooked to tubes and machines, another vigil goes on outside, kept by eager politicians eyeing her seat.
The 62-year-old Democrat is in serious but stable condition in the coronary care unit at Prince Georges General Hospital. Sources say she hasn’t spoken since Oct. 31 when she
suffered cardiac arrest at a laurel shopping center while campaigning for a fourth term.
"She is semi-conscious,” said hospital spokesman Fred Cyran.
"At no time is she fully conscious,” said Art Jaeger, her press aide.
Four days after her heart seizure, as she lay unconscious and in critical condition, voters in Maryland’s 5th District gave her a 106,035-vote to 25,693-vote victory over RepublicanInside
TV LISTINGS ...............5A
challenger Kevin Igoe.
But her political future is as uncertain as her medical outlook.
The new Congress will be sworn in Jan. 5. Even if she is unable to be present, Mrs. Spellman need not lose her seat; Stanley Brand, general counsel to the House clerk, said there is precedent for either administering the oath outside the Capitol or waiting until an ill member returns to the Hill.
But any representative can introduce a resolution declaring Mrs. Spellman’s seat vacant. If such a resolution were adopted, Gov. Harry Hughes, a Democrat, would have to call a special election.
Allan I^evey, state Republican chairman, already has called for Mrs. Spellman’s resignation and a special election because of the prospect of a long convalescence.
Sales tax down slightly
The November city sales tax rebate for New Braunfels was lower than last year’s, but total 1980 payments to date were 15 percent higher than in 1979, according to figures released by State Comptroller Bob Bullock’s office.
New Braunfels received $149,455 for November, compared to $154,352 last year. Payments for 1980 so far total $928,658, however, versus $804,298 for the same period in 1979.
San Marcos got $125,542 for November 1980; last year’s check was for $109,489 Net payments to date amount to 19 percent more than in 1979: $783,030 this year, $653,688 last year.
Seguin received a November payment of $109,284, versus $99,562 in 1979. To date, 1980 payments total $702,024, IO percent more than the $636,850 received in the same period last year.
Motel tax collections increase
City hotel-motel tax collections for the third quarter of 1980 totaled $63,323, according to figures prepared by city secretary Veronica Sarkozi.
That’s quite a bit more than collected during the same period last year. Taxes collected from July I through Sept. 30, 1979, were $50,156.
The difference appears to be the opening of the Holiday Inn late in 1979. That motel, incidentally, paid the highest third quarter 1980 tax of all the city’s 19 hotels and motels: $10,813.
The city collects 4 percent of each hostelry’s gross
income per quarter, keeps IO percent of it. The Chamber of Commerce receives 80 percent which translates into $98,459 so far this year. The city’s IO percent amounted to $12,202 in the first three quarters.
Total collections from the first three quarters of 1980 amounted to $119,982, slightly more than the $111,399 collected during January to September 1979.
The remaining IO percent is split four ways: 2.5 percent going to the Conservation Society, the Sophienburg Memorial Museum, the Circle Arts Theater and the New Braunfels share of the Mid-Texas Symphony.