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Pacific Stars And Stripes Newspaper Archives Nov 29 1982, Page 5

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Pacific Stars And Stripes (Newspaper) - November 29, 1982, Tokyo, JapanMonday november 29, 1982 Pacific stars and stripes National 5 laotians hoeing a new existence Hollywood Wash. A the chill winds rippling across the Sammamish Valley catch Chai Hie Saeturn s Scarf and she tucks her head deep into an old coat. The cold barely slows her As she digs around Heads of Hardy cabbage and Broccoli selecting Ripe produce for Market. Saeturn was a Farmer in her native Laos and her vegetables Are deep Green and Crisp. Chai Hien or grandmother matriarch of a family of eight is a self appointed for woman in a truck farm program designed to help refugees become Mien and hmong families work acre and half acre plots lease from the county. This time of year they Are alone in the Fields growing anything they can and erecting frames to trap the Winter Sun. Traditional skills pay off but they Are finding that their old farming skills Are paying hard won dividends in a new and sometimes unwelcoming land. Our lives depend on it so we Renot calling it quits said interpreter Anne Thomas on. Behalf of the refugee families who work the land 15 Miles Northeast of , 56, who fled labs when the communists took Over said through the interpreter that there were problems especially Lack of language and education. But she added it was Good to come Here after spending five or six years in Camp in refugee farm project sup ported through Federal Money an contributions and administered by the state refugee resettlement pro Gram is an attempt to help the laotians find a Niche said Ca Uomoto project administrator. The aim is to be self sufficient if we can succeed. There a every few projects like this in the country. We d like to see the carve out a vocation to become self supporting said Uomoto. If they could become truck Farmers they la be self sufficient a Success. If they can do it they la reopening the door to other the project has Only opened thedoor a crack with the Farmers working Long and hard. With Exten Saeturn the grandmother walks the Fields to make sure the work is done Well. A Sive help from local volunteers they pulled in about $10,000 in sales of vegetables this past summer and there is potential for much greater returns. With intensive farming the could make maybe $25,000 on one acre said Andy de los Angeles one of several local Farmers who helped the refugees get of the Farmers live in Seattle and commute to their plots i Volunteer driven vans. Almost All of the refugee Farmers have said they want to come Back for another season and want to double and even triple their acre Ages. Thomas said there Are also plans to bring in chickens rabbits or pigs which would be fed and fattened on vegetables that otherwise go to waste. The project backed by a Grant of about $3,000 for equipment got off to a late Start. The pastureland was tilled in time to get some crops planted in May. Neighbouring farm ers provided lettuce and other starts after thinning their own coordinator Sharon Hart said the j reject would have been a failure without special help. The reason the project made it Isth people in the Valley she said. They sat on the tractors 24. Hours Aday to prepare the in August the Best month for far earnings some families made up to $800, said Hart. Crops were sold a Roadside markets Seattle s historic Pike place Market to restaurants some wholesale buyers and to puget consumer cooperative which wanted organically grown produce. There have been failures especially in marketing at Pike place and to some refugees Don t talk to their customers so they re making per haps $30 or $40 at the Market and they could be making $70 to $80,"said Uomoto. He said other people have told him they bought $7 to $8worth of vegetables and paid Only $2.50. Under a recent Grant of about$27,000, said Uomoto classes will be conducted in Money handling an Market English. The Money will also provide transportation More equip ment chemicals and fertilizers. Lone Star steel layoffs hitting East Texas hard Lone Star Texas a thereat smoke stacks of Lone Star steel s blast Furnace and Coke oven stand silent and empty. Where once 4,500 Union men worked 500 reemployed. There is no Holiday Joy. Ill Tell you How it is. I just fee like a Little child said a Man who lost his Job when the Plant shut Down aug. 21. I want to crawl into mama s arms or some Loving woman s arms and just cry be cause i m afraid i m going to lose Italy. I can t Tell my wife that. I have to say i m not worried he she knew How scared i am it would just kill her. That would be Mist hangs Over Lake o the Pines where people who ought to be working Dangle fishing lines Over the sides of Little punts Gray shapes on Glassy water. A great White hero stands in the shallows with one leg drawn up and a flock of wild Duck floats motionless. Tidy stacks of rusting pipe part of the inventory that is choking the country cover the Lone Star storage lots. Lone Star catered to the Oil Industry and now the party s is Down by almost half and there is no need for spokesman Mayo Lanagan said he did t know when people might go Back to work. Maybe next part of East Texas was never Money Rich. The Economy was hard scrabble farming and Bootleg whiskey before the . Government built the huge Lone Star Plant during world War ii. When the Plant was turned Over to private Industry people got used to High wages and country version of the Good life. Strikes and layoffs have hit never this hard. I saw folks lose everything the had in the 1957 strike. That lasted a year and my next door neighbor just Plain had to Start Over said Jimmie Beth Foster whose husband was Laid off in August after 27 years at Lone Star. But it was different then. You could go somewhere else and find work. Now i Don t know where people Are going to go. Someone said All these kids Cango Home to mama and daddy but i can t go Home because we Are mama and unemployment in Morris county is30.1 percent it s More than 20 percent in neighbouring Are scraping by on $147 a week from the state benefits that expire in mid february. Everybody who depended on steel or steelworkers hurts. There have been related layoffs at the trucking companies and the Texas & North Ern Railroad pay cuts at the Little grocery stores and at the Semi weekly newspaper the Stee l coun try Bee. Holiday business is terrible. Only whiskey has shown an increase in sales. Whiskey sales up i our sales generally Are off yes said Charlie Barker manager Ofano liquor. Except in whiskey the smaller sizes. Those Are up Over what they d normally be this time of year. A lot of people Are drinking Roget drunk we All know that and it s cheaper to do so with whiskey it has t really soaked in yet said Johnny Scott president of Daingerfield s chamber of com Merce and vice president of the National Bank of Daingerfield. Morale s pretty High. Now next month when Santa Claus is supposed to come i think you la see some ? what Christmas snorted Tim Bazar a millwright Laid off after five years at the Plant. We bought the kids some stuff Las january and that s All they re getting. As for what i m going to Tel them you better ask me the Day after Christmas because i Don know right at Lone Star Bazar made $12 inless than an hour. Now he said he s picking up $12 to $20 a Day working cattle at livestock auction barns. I m not worried about my family starving said Tom Van Hoose 44, a machinist. I can fish i can shoot and they eat game real Well. We had a pretty Good Garden last year an the Freezer s full. It s the other stuff the Telephone the House pay ments the truck payment the utilities. I Don t know How we redoing to make the Banks Are working with us every Way they can but of course they re working on borrowed Money too Van Hoose said

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