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Austin American-Statesman from Austin, Texas • Page 30
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Austin American-Statesman from Austin, Texas • Page 30

Austin, Texas
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Austin American-Statesman Wednesday, November 4, 1981 Cable firm seeks workers in second week of strike 1 B12 0.0! 'M 4 flit-' 'iflw to 7'T? By CHERYL COGGINS American-Statesman Staff As a strike by several employees of Capital Cable Co. entered Its second week on Tuesday, the company began conducting interviews with the Intention of filling vacancies In Its work force. About 80 employees went on strike Oct. 27, but nine of those returned to work Tuesday, said Capital Cable general manager Charles Gramllch. He declined to say whether the advertised vacancies were those left by striking workers.

"No, we're just looking for people to go to work," Gramlich said. "In our final offer, we told them we would give them the same number of days' notice before we started hiring as they gave us before going on strike." 11 4 Union representatives gave Capital Cable five days' notice before the strike was called. Gramlich said it was not until the strike had passed its sixth day that Capital Cable began advertising to fill vacancies. Asked what effect the possible hiring of new employees would have on the strike, a union officer said, "Nada." "We knew this was coming," said Jack Kirf man, a Capital Cable employee and officer in the Communication Workers of America local that Is representing Capital employees. Klrfman reaffirmed Tuesday that the striking employees would not return to work until Capital Cable officials "make a reasonable offer we can accept and keep the integrity of our contract" Several people have called strike headquarters to ask if the application of a Capital Cable job would Interfere with the strike action, Klrfman said.

"We told them, 'Yes, and they said they weren't Interested then," Klrfman said. Gramlich said he has had "tons" of applicants for the Jobs, some of which require experience with cable television systems. Capital Cable had not hired any employees by late Tuesday. New employees will work under the company's final contract offer, which went into effect Monday, Gramlich said. That offer, which was rejected by employees covered by the union contract, calls for a 12 percent pay raise for all employees the first year of the contract and an 11 percent increase the second year, Gramlich said.

tow 111 J'i 11 1 1 li! I I 1 a 1 I i I Sign loophole draws defense in Round Rock 3 1JL mm By TERRY GOODRICH American-Statesman Staff ROUND ROCK Merchants who are using a loophole in the city's 3-year-old sign ordinance to prop portable signs in the beds of pickups will appear before the planning and zoning commission Thursday night to defend the signs, which they say are a cheap and effective way of advertising. The planning commission will appoint a subcommittee to look at all parts of the ordinance and the advertising options it leaves merchants, said Director of Planning Paul Gambrel. The subcommittee is to report back in 60 days. Several merchants have resorted to using their parked trucks as a means of advertising, since the city ordinance governs only freestanding signs. A proposed revision in that ordinance called for the loophole to be plugged by defining and expressly prohibiting portable signs, including those attached to pickups.

But the City Council postponed action at a recent meeting when it heard a "good deal of testimony" from concerned merchants, said Gambrel. The council "felt portable signs should either be expressly prohibited or allowed with special requirements," he said. The current ordinance permits signs with an area no greater than 40 square feet, set at least 10 feet from the road and 9 feet off the ground. Signs in shopping centers or those that front on the interstate may be larger, Gambrel said. Billboards are prohibited, which the exception of those standing before the ordinance was adopted.

The remaining ones will be phased out if not in use, he said. Aesthetic interests have figured into the Round Rock's traditional distaste for portable signs, said City Manager Bob Bennett, though he said a more important consideration is driving safety. Linda Ward, who operates Ward's Cafe, gathered about 70 signatures from businessmen asking that the portable signs not be outlawed. She presented them at the last council meeting and has volunteered to be on the planning commission's subcommittee. "I'm hoping we can work together instead of fighting each other." ooooooooooooooo Each way on round-trip Night Coach Supreme Super Saver OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOI One-way Super Coach oooooooo One-way Super Coach Linda Ward steve who portable signs, has asked the council to consider letting businesses use portable signs on a temporary basis, perhaps three months a year.

Walker ties the sign issue to growth a topic of particular interest in view of the city's 300-plus percent population increase in the last decade. Because Round Rock is no longer a sleepy little town where everybody knows everybody, he said, "business people have a need for portable signs, because not everybody can afford a $5,000 or $10,000 sign." One merchant, who asked not to be identified for fear it would hurt his business, said he uses a portable sign and thinks the proposed ordinance revision would overstep the city's bounds. "I feel like what I carry in the back of my truck is my own business," he said. "I pay for the license and insurance to drive it." "I don't think signs should be ugly. I wouldn't want to put out something chartreuse with pink letters," he said.

"But I think merchants ought to have the right to advertise their wares. I think we need the signs. I sell more stuff off my signs than through newspaper advertisements." It's very expensive for small businesses to advertise through radio, TV or newspaper, he and the portable signs offer an affordable alternative. "I think there needs to be some kind of regula-: tion," the merchant said. "But anybody that spends his life savings and tries to make a living and give people good buys ought to have a chance." "I know the question of esthetics Is a delicate one, because one man's piece of art is another man's eyesore," Bennett said.

But too many signs "tend to be real garish, and pretty soon all you've got is a bunch of signs in a row. There's so much information trying to get your attention that you spend a lot of time looking at signs when you should be paying attention to driving." Some merchants think the 40-square-foot sign size is not enough to post both the business name and advertise goods. The city doesn't object to signs attached to store windows or building sides, but "if you're set back behind a building or buried in amongst some stores, you wouldn't have any visibility from the highway," said one merchant. "And a flat sign against th building doesn't attract attention." These are just three of the Delta discount fares you can get to cities all over the country. To many, there's no cheaper way to fly.

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