The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas on February 18, 1985 · Page 18
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The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas · Page 18

Galveston, Texas
Issue Date:
Monday, February 18, 1985
Page 18
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6-B fcijt «aiar»ton fiatig K, MM* Monday Morning, February 18,1965 Reagan defends trips to California ranch WASHINGTON (AP) - President Reagan, returning to the White House on Sunday after a four-day vacation, says he feels justified making frequent trips to his California ranch because "you give up an awful lot of privacy" serving in the Oval Office. Reagan said the demands of the presidency accompany him wherever he goes. "And I look at it in another way — at my age, how many more years do I have to go to the ranch and enjoy the ranch," the 74-year-old president said. After enjoying warm temperatures and sunny skies at his mountaintop spread, Reagan was greeted by 44-degree, overcast weather back in the capital. His major appointment this week is a meeting Wednesday with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Since taking office in 1981, Reagan has spent all or part of 171 days at his ranch, or 12 percent of his presidency. "You give up an awful lot in privacy and so forth, in these positions, and I think you're entitled, as long as you're still president, are still faced with the problems, that — I've spent days at the ranch, the better part of the day, on the telephone." Reagan discussed his affection for his 688-acre ranch in an interview with the Santa Barbara News-Press. "I think that particular place casts a spell on you ... When you get in there, it's — the world is gone." The president's hideaway is located 2,400 feet high in the Santa Ynez mountains, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Reagan said he occasionally sees tracks and other signs of bears and mountain lions on his property, and frequently sees bobcats. A Secret Service agent on duty at the ranch once watched a mountain lion stroll past his post from a distance of 30 feet, the president said. The president's five-room adobe home, built in 1872, is heated solely by firewood. The Reagans bought the ranch in 1974. "The environmentalists, I am sure, will be happy to know, we don't cut down trees for firewood," the president said. Instead, he said, he collects wood from trees and limbs that have fallen on his property. . Reagan recalled that he once had a problem with snakes on the property, before he was elected president. "It was kind of a gray snake with black and red vertical stripes on it, and it seemed to be a water snake," the president said. They were about 12-14 inches long and "if you'd come out the door, they'd scatter across the lawn. You'd see them going. And to that he and a couple of helpers went out one day equipped with gloves and picked up snakes and put them in grocery sacks. After awhile, Reagan said, he discarded the gloves and worked barehanded. By the end of the day, Reagan said, they had collected more than 120 snakes. "And then, I didn't want to go around, you know, slaughtering them and — bloody, awful bloody to do that." Instead, Reagan said he dumped the snakes in a pond just beyond the border of his property. Reagan said that when he retires from the presidency, he and his wife Nancy will buy a home in Los Angeles, and make occasional trips to the ranch. Astronauts practice space shuttle launch CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Sen. Jake Garn joined five NASA astronauts and a French pilot Sunday for the final two hours of practice procedures aboard the space shuttle Challenger they will fly in two weeks. - The seven ran through launch procedures and checked all spacecraft systems to make sure there will be no surprises on lif- toff.They ended the test with a simulated liftoff at 4 p.m. EST, right on schedule. Garn, a Utah Republican, is flying on Challenger as a congressional observer. He is chairman of a subcommittee that oversees funding for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The other non-NASA spaceman is French Air Force Lt. Col. Patrick Baudry, who will serve as payload specialist on the mission. Baudry will be on the flight as a result of an agreement last year between Presidents Reagan and Francois Mitterrand. He will operate a French-made cardiovascular monitoring system to study the body's ability to adapt to weightlessness. The other crew members are commander Karol Bobko, the only one who has been in space before; pilot Donald" Williams; mission ' specialists Rhea Seddon, David Griggs and Jeffrej ;'->ffman. The launch team began its practice countdown Saturday. Liftoff is scheduled March 3, but at least a one-day postponement is expected because of a delay in moving the shuttle to the launch pad last week. A firm date will be set Thursday. After the countdown test, the crew met briefly with reporters, and Bobko was asked about the date. "Even if it's not the third, it will be shortly after that. We'll be ready for any day," he said. Garn was asked about the ribbing he has gotten from cartoonist Garry Trudeau in the "Doonesbury" comic strip, in which he is portrayed as "Barfing Jake." The reference is to medical experiments the senator svill undergo,' some of which might make him sick. "I've always liked Garry Trudeau; I'm glad he's having fun with the barf bag," Garn replied. During four days in orbit, the crew will release a Canadian communications satellite and a NASA Tracking and Data Relay Satellite. The satellites were loaded in Challenger's cargo bay Saturday. Walesa condemns attacks urges a counteroffensive •Cleanup Staff Photo by Robert John Mihovil It's a messy job, but someone has to cleanup the mess left by Mardi Gras partygoers and Truck'^othit"? 11 '" S T h eCPS ^T fr ° m thC StepS and Sidewaik in front °< the g Stea m e r Truck clothing store on the corner of 2ist Street and The Strand in Galveston on Sunday afternoon City crews began the cleanup immediately after the event was over however many trucks could not get to all the garbage left on sidewalks where cars bSed the cur™ WARSAW, Poland (AP) Solidarity chief Lech Walesa, saying he is not afraid to go to jail, urged cheering supporters in Gdansk on Sunday to launch a "counteroffensive" against the government by taking part in a 15-minute strike on Feb. 28. The strike is to protest communist government plans to increase food prices. In a defiant mood one day.after a prosecutor warned him that he risks a five-year prison sentence for continued union activities, Walesa condemned a police crackdown on his outlawed free trade union federation. "The best sons of our land are being imprisoned and that is why this (the Feb. 28 strike) has to succeed," witnesses quoted Walesa as telling more than 1,000 supporters packing a courtyard outside St. Brygida's Church. "As of this moment we are starting a counteroffensive, so let's get ready for it in peace," they quoted him as saying. Walesa, who was charged Saturday with inciting unrest and organizing illegal protests, told the crowd he intended to report for work Monday morning at the Lenin Shipyard, Solidarity's birthplace, where he works as an electrician. "Regardless of whether I am arrested or not, everyone knows what he is supposed to do on Feb 28. If the general (Polish leader Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski) is not able to ensure order in this country then we will help him," Walesa was quoted as saying. Walesa, contacted by telephone at his Gdansk apartment, confirmed witness accounts of 'his speech. "I asked them whether they knew that the (strike) decision was irrevocable and whether they wanted it," he said in the telephone interview. "They shouted 'yes,' so I said that they should realize that from Feb. 28 there will be a resolute counteroffensive." After Walesa finished his brief speech, the crowd chanted "Lech, Lech!" and "Solidarity!" Earlier, Walesa joined more than 5,000 worshipers for a Mass for three prominent Solidarity activists — Adam Michnik of Warsaw, Bogdan Lis of Gdansk, and Wladyslaw Frasyniuk of Wroclaw — arrested in Wednesday's raid on a clandestine union meeting in Gdansk that was called to set plans for the Feb. 28 protest. Four other activists were released Friday after being pres- ented with charges against them. Lis and Frasyniuk were former members of the Solidarity underground's Temporary Coordinating Commission. Michnik is a prominent union adviser and founder of the now disbanded KOR workers' rights group. In his sermon at the Mass, the Rev. Henryk Jankowski, a close adviser to Walesa, offered prayers for the three imprisoned activists and said: "Our homeland cannot be turned into a political prison." Walesa was summoned to the Gdansk prosecutor's office on Saturday. His lawyer, Jacek Taylor, said the prosecutor informed Walesa that he and seven union activists had been charged with inciting public unrest and organizing illegal protests. If convicted the eight face a maximum three-year sentence under Poland's penal code. Walesa has been summoned several times for questioning by police and the prosecutor's office after his release in November 1982 following the government's crackdown on Solidarity. However, in none of those cases had charges been filed against him. _-._, — •KWft *J***Mtfr [*•* tO Jit 111 Insurance policy rate increases hit Texas cities SAN ANGELO (AP) — In- declining nmm<: in tho mt,n;r.; n -,i n , ,. , SAN ANGELO (AP) - Insurance companies, hit by record underwriting losses in 1984, have .increased rates to Texas cities by as much as 800 percent in recent months and canceled their contracts altogether on some occasions, insurance experts say. In other states, cities are having even more problems than those in Texas, the San Angelo Standard- Times reported. Last year's losses, coupled with declining profits in the municipal risk business, have prompted insurance companies to increase rates by as much as 800 percent and in some cases cancel their contracts with cities. CIGNA insurance company "non-renewed" its coverage with Grand Prairie in October. St. Paul pulled out from Port Arthur and the city's premiums doubled in one year. Irving's premiums tripled. San Angelo stayed with the Texas Municipal League pool insurance but is paying $169,180 more than budgeted for liability and property insurance. Texas cities are scrambling to meet the costs but cities in other states are panicking, said Texas Municipal League Director Bill Martin. "I get several calls a day from cities in other states that are in sheer hysteria, wanting to know how we're handling it," Martin said. "The cute euphemism that's being is used is non-renewal. They can't find anything. They're naked, bare, without coverage." Because municipal risk is traditionally considered bad business, some companies, like Aetna, are withdrawing completely. Others, such as St. Paul, will bid on property, but not liability insurance, the newspaper reported. Cities no longer enjoy gov- Search for missing Americans continues Vff VTt~*f\ rvrmir , <T-W* r»». MEXICO CITY (AP) - The search continued without success Sunday for two more Americans who disappeared in Guadalajara, the sixth and seventh U.S. citizens reported missing there, including a kidnapped U.S. drug agent. "There is nothing new to report. We have received no information as to their whereabouts," said a U.S. Embassy spokesman in Mexico City, who spoke on condition of anonymity. He said there was no apparent connection between the latest reported disappearances and th« Feb. 7 abduction of Enrique Camarena Salazar, 37, a 10-year veteran of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. The spokesman said the lat- est additions to the list of those missing were John Walker, an Army veteran from Minnesota who had been living in Guadalajara for about a year, and Alberto Radelat from Texas, who had been visiting Walker. The spokesman said he did not have ages or hometowns for the missing men. The case came to the attention of the U.S. Consulate in Guadalajara when a friend in that city, Carlos Soto, 'told Mexican authorities on Friday that they were missing. The two Americans last were seen by Soto on Jan. 30, and Radelat failed to pick up an airline ticket for his flight home on Jan. 31, according to a consulate source, who spoke only on condition of anonymity "They reportedly left together in a car and that is the last they have been seen," the source said. The embassy spokesman said U.S. officials made a check of Walker's apartment and found an open jar of peanut butter on the table, clothes in the closet and the lights on the apartment — indicating Walker planned to return. Meanwhile, the embassy spokesman said there was no new information on the missing DEA agent abducted by four gunmen near the consulate as he was going to meet his wife for lunch. Mexican federal agents have been combing Guadalajara and the surrounding area along with DEA agents. The Mexico City daily newspaper Excelsior reported Sunday that Mexican agents have suspected drug traffickers in Guadalajara under surveillance and that it was possible two Colombians were involved in the kidnapping". The U.S. government has offered a 550,000 reward for information about the whereabouts of Camarena, American officials said. The kidnapping appeared to suggest that drug traffickers are angered by the increased effectiveness of the anti-drug war in Mexico, carried out with technical assistance from the DEA. ernmental immunity. If an attorney is aggressive and frames a case properly, it can be taken to federal court where almost any grievance can result in damage claims under the 1983 Civil Rights Act, Martin said. Texas has not felt the impact as much as other states because the insurance industry considers it to have a more stable local government market, Martin said. "The view of Texas cities is they are very well managed," Martin said. "They find business-like solutions to problems. And the legal environment is not as volatile as, say, California. Yet." City officials and insurance consultants said they saw the first indication in mid-1984, but were not concerned because no one expected a drastic change, said Robert Lazarus of Robert W. Lazarus St. Associates Inc., a risk management and insurance counseling service in Piano. "During the last quarter of 1984, things just went haywire, in public and private coverage," Lazarus said. "In December, when we saw the proposals, it was just unbelievable what they were coming in with. Everyone was shocked." In a few extreme cases, cities have had 500 percent to 800 percent increases. The trend is for 50 to 150 percent increases, Lazarus said. "You find a shortage of companies that insure and for those who will, they charge a high price," Martin said. "In layman's terms, we've got a supply and demand problem," Lazarus said. Adding fuel to the fire is a recent Texas attorney general's decision requires cities to bid publicly for their insurance to make sure the market is competitive. Some cities bid too frequently for the insurance companies' taste. The companies prefer to contract for at least three years to make a profit or recover losses, said Judson Hobby, a risk management consultant with The Wyatt Co. in Dallas. "I think they don't like competitive bidding," Martin said. "When it gets tough, they use the opportunity to bail out. The consultants are advising their clients to eliminate some fringe coverage, seek higher deductibles and lower coverage limits and in some cases, to set up self insurance programs. The costs of police, and public official liability have risen dramatically, Lazarus said. In addition, few companies will provide umbrella insurance in which $1 million to $5 million of coverage is added to the basic coverage. The number of companies writing police protection in the United States dropped from 22 to seven in only two years, said Frances Fey, the Texas Municipal League assistant director. t „

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