WEATHER FORECAST 1 WMKW tank*****: Coolltauglrt Mild Sunday you xc, NO, 106 POST NORWALK EDITION PuMliMe Deny at *ll SMt St., VUwxxf, Can. tUM BRIDGEPQiRT, CONN., SATURDAY, MAY 5, 1973. Second Clou FiOtoat Paid et Bridgeport, Coon. TWENTY-SIX PAGES . TWO SECTIONS TIN CettT* SPECTACULAR BLAZE DESTROYS BALLROOM AT PLEASURE BEACH By FRANK W. DECERBO A spectacular fire of undeter-i mined origin swept the Pleasure Beach ballroom last night shortly before midnight, burning the 53-year-old city landmark.to the ground. Fire officials reported the huge ballroom was'fully involved in flames and a section of a new $20,000 roof had collapsed before they arrived. "It must have been burning an awfully long time before it was discovered,' ported. one fire official re- Flames Level a City Beach Landmark built in I92Â» waV e ieveUed etted " EainSt flames whlch "TM pt *i*** m * Beach ballroom at midnight. The famous city landmark, . It was the second major fire at Pleasure beach in the past eight months. Last September, fire destroyed a section of the midway that remained from earlier, fire in 1953. Firefighters under direction of Chief John F. Gleason, battled last night's blaze more than two hours. Flames and burning embers, PÂ«I pfwio-Ed Brimko carried by strong winds,'threatened several nearby buildings on ng Service center for more help. Stratford firemen also were dispatched to the scene to pro- :ect summer cottages on the Stratford section of the island when several grass fires were started by burning embers. Chief Gleason said the cause of the fire is still under inves- ilgation. The,thief reported the building was levelled and it is difficult to determine where the fire started. Police have been asked to join in the investigation to check a the island park; Additional fire companies Beardsley School Parents View Board Action As Rejecting Demands Although the Boafd of Education yesterday voted.; to return seventh arid eight grades to the Beardsley Elementary school from the East Side Middle school, protesting parents viewed the action as a rejection of their demands because of a condition which, they feel, cancels out the affirmative vote. Â· The. school board said that any shifting of the pupils "must not interfere with racial balance in the East Side Middle school nor with the board's policy aimed at integration through the. middle school system." ." , Alderman John Gum an, a spokesman for the parents, who met yesterday with the Board to continue their protests, said as a result the group will meet tomorrow afternoon to consider resuming a boycott of classes and picketing on Monday to enforce their demands. Observers said that the "racial balance" proviso probably cannot be met since removal of the predominately white Beardsley students would automatically increase the ratio of -black and DeanToldWeickerdfFear " Â· " . . : Â· ' Â· Â· " - - ' ' ! Â· ' ' Â· ' For Life, Sources Disclose WASHINGTON (AP) -Ousted presidential counsel John W. Dean 111 told Sen. Lowell P. Weioker Jr. at a secret meeting that he .fears for his life, ;a qualified source says. Weicker said he did meet secretly with Dean for two hours end 45 minutes Thursday but refused to disclose the substance of the talks. The Connecticut Republican Weather Data Data from National Weather Servtct U.S. Dept. ol Cammerw BRIDGEPORT AND VICINITY: Considerable cloudiness this afternoon;: high about SO. Tonight, partly cloudy;and cool, low about 4Â». Tomorrow, partly sunny and mild, nigh in low "60s. Probabilities of precipitation: 3fl per cent this afternoon, 2t per cent tonight And tomorrow. LONG ISLAND SOUND: Northwesterly winds, 1Â« to 20 mph to. day. with some higher gusts, diminishing to It to 15 mph tonight and tomorrow. Visibility better than five miles, EXTENDED OUTLOOK: Partly sunny Monday. Chance of showers Tuesday and Wednesday. Daytime highs averaging S3 to 70; overnight lows about 50. TEMPERATURE (Municipal Airport Readings) LowToday ....; Highest Yesterday ......... 59 Lowest Yesterday -45 Highest (May4,1972) ...... 63 Lowest (May 4,1972) 51 Harbor Water Temperature 53 Degree Days Yesterday -- .13 Degree Days Since July 1 .. 5,355 : PRECIPITATION Today (10 hours to 10 a.m.) 0.00 For Month .. 0.22 1973 to date 22.13 Barometer (II a.m. reading) 29.7! Humidity (lla.m. reading) 60% SUN, MOON AND STARS Saturday, May 5 Today is -the one hundrec twenty-fifth day of the year, and the forty-seventh day of spring The Sun sets today at 7:52 p.m and rises tomorrow at 5:45 a.m The Moon sets tonight at H:33 o'clock and the First Quarter wil appear May 9. Â£ast night the Moon rode high near Saturn. Since 1964, the Moon has been riding higher (and lower) in the sky than the Sun ever does. THE TIDE .aid that Dean gave him "no grounds to go ahead and implicate the President" in connection with the; Watergate scandal. , Â· Â· Â· Â· Â· , Dean turned over the key tu a safe-deposit box Friday to Chief U.S. Dist. Judge John J. iirica and said the box con- ained confidential documents ie removed from the -White House for fear they would be destroyed. after Nixon fired lim. These i were other developments Friday in the Watergate scandal: --Donald H. Segretti, a Cali- ornia attorney named i Vhite House agent, was re- eased on $10,000 personal sure- y bond after surrendering to authorities -in Los Angeles. He was indicted by a federal grand ury in Orlando, Fla., earlier in he day. on charges of conspiring to sabotage the Democratic presidential campaign! of Sens. Edmund S. Muskie and Henry M. Jackson: --Watergate conspirator E Howard Hunt's grand-jury testi mony was released at the Pen- agon Papers trial in Los Ange les and detailed what he sail was a White House-directec burglary of Daniel Ellsberg's jsychiatrist's files.. He. namec 'ormer'White 1 House aide Egi 'Bud" Krogh as supe'rviso'r o: the operation. --Two sources, .said . .Krogh signed a sworn affidavit be tor. 'eder.al prosecutors in.Washing :on taking responsibility for the jreakiri. ' ' ' - -.Â·- .--The White Houserissued ex ecutive-privilegc guidelines tha place at least a partial lid 01 the testimony of present an [ormer presidential aides to be questioned by authorities in connection with Watergate. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D Mass.,''told a newspaper edi tors' convention here that Wa tergate is a "traumatic nation al tragedy." Â· --Testimony unsealed b; court officials here said the Nixon re-election campaign raised between $1 and $2 mil lion in cash that can't be trace Today 1:2* a.m. . 2:12 p.m. 7:55 a.m. . 8:N p.m. Tomorrow ... High . . . . 2-.lÂ» a.m .... -^-- . . . . 2j57 p.m . . . Low . . . . 8 : M i . . . . J:Â«5 p,m ipanislwpeaking J students in the middle school above their present eve! of well over 50 per cent. The School board added another ey condition, flatly saying the upils won't be shifted it a new xiycott takes place. The pupil shift was also condi oned on two more points -lat it must be economically easible,. and adequate space liiust be available, or be made vailable. The vote:was cast at a tense meeting in the board office on he third floor of City. Hall at ter a predominantly white group if more than 50 parents- from Jeafdsley school walked out o he session two minutes after began.. They said they were leaving o avoid a verbal clash with i lightly smaller group of other East Side 'parents, mainly from minority groups, who were pre- ierit to oppose the pupil shift. Board of Education presiden ; raacis J. King later issued a tatement denying charges tha ?ere aired last night by som Seardsley parents who claimed he board double-crossed them y not granting them a private meeting. Mr. King said Mark Gross egal counsel of the Beardsley a rents, was aware ahead of tim hat yesterday's meeting would e open to ail. "In fact an open meeting he only kind we could have to ake a vote," Mr. King said 'We can't take votes-in close i neetiiigs, and a vote was wha he parents nad requested," Mr. King said the board refuse? a-be responsible, for .the ques- ion of whether Mr. Gross passei he information on to the par eats that the meeting had to be "in cpra meeting. The second group of East Side arents called adamantly fo continuation of the policy o (Continued on Page Five) (Continued on Page Five) SKYLAB SET FOR LAUNCH CAPE KENNEDY, Fla.--(AP Space agency .officials say th Successful conclusion ol a .nine day countdown rehearsal ha cleared the way for the launch ing of America's first space sta ton- on May 14. were sent to the scene after assistant Fire Chief Howard Bogey radioed.the Emergency Report- doing such a good Job in protect- ng the other buildings on the sland. Considering the wind we are lucky we did not lose half of he East End." Recalling the ballroom spot where famous dance bands entertained, the mayor said: "It Stratford was a location where all of us equipment report that an speeding over auto the was seen Pleasure Beach bridge shortly before the [ r ?_ m ?? *Â° r a _ larm -. En Â« ine companies 4 and Truck 5 were dispatched on the special call for help. a.m. but firemen were/ still at :he scene today at noon wetting enjoyed Sunday evenings listening to a kind of music that has been gone for a while." The loss of the landmark 'probably brings back more memories than any other part of the city," the mayor said. "We are thankful that there were no persons in the building," fire was discovered. It was not the mayor said, adding that a certain if this was connected private dance was scheduled to with the fire, investigators said Â·-Â· - Â· Calls reporting the fire were received at 11:58 p.m. at the ERS center from personnel al the WICC radio transmitter located near the ballroom, ant from a tender at the beach bridge. Mayor Panuzio, who went to the scene, said there "was no real way to figure the loss ol that kind of a building." take place at the ballroom tonight. Firefighters used additional hose lines to wet down the nearby Polka Dot Playhouse and the old bathhouse building. Flames ignited the roof of the bathhouse but damage was slight. No damage resulted to the playhouse. Firemen from Engine Companies 2, 6, 8, Truck Co. 6, and Recall at 1:52 A.M. Recall was ordered at 1:52 down the burning remains, firemen sent when grass fire fires threatened nearby summer cottages on the Stratford side of the island. Chief Gleason said flames spread rapidly throughout the one-story wooden structure building and had been burning for some time before the blaze was discoverd. United Illuminating company emergency crews were called to shut off power in the area. Several large trees near the ballroom were damaged by flames. John Harrison, radio engineer on duty at the WICC transmitter, switched to auxiliary power after the station was temporari- ly put off the air during the power shutdown. Smoke Masks Used Some firemen used smoke masks as they attempted to move closer to the burning Building. Flames lighted up a la'rge sec- lion of the sky, drawing thousands of spectators to the area. Firemen were forced to crawl on the ground when winds send billows of smoke toward them as they were directing hose lines on the flames. Two Emergency ambulance units were stationed a short distance from the burning building. Several firefighters were administered oxygen for ' the effects of smoke inhalation. No serious injuries were reported. Tactical unit police, working with the Patrol division, units set up a detour in the Seaview avenue to restrict cars from going across the Pleasure beach bridge during the fire. The mayor added: "We are Squad 5'responded to the initial 1 Ballroom Fire Ends An Era of Memories By ROBERT L. SAWYER The spectacular fire that .reduced to smouldering ruins the 53-year-old Pleasure beach ballroom -- the largest dance hall in New England -- also destroyed long-range plans of the Barnum Festival society to redevelop the ballroom into the focal point of festival events. City and Fire officials were unable to'estimate the loss but agreed that the giant ballroom, which in its history was the scene of big band appearances, beauty contests, baby; contests and an almost endless variety of entertainment spectacles and dinners, was "irreplaceable." The two-hour blaze, which raged out of control despite the efforts of firefighters, ' also brought to a ipectacular end the era of the large ballroom in this area. The RHz ballroom in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport burned to the ground in June of 1970. Eaden M. Whiteman Jr., executive director of the Barnum Festival, who admitted having tears in his e watched the huge yes last night as hi huge landmark de de- Post photo--Frank W. Dtccrfco The Remains of an Entertainment Facility Firemen wet down' the burning remains of the Pleasure beach ballroom. strayed with Mayor Panuzio am other city officials; said the ball room's history, came to an enc in a year when it would have played a major role in the Bar num Festival. "This was the year when we planned to return the ballroom and entire Pleasure Beach area to the status it once had -- a. one of New England's foremos entertainment and recreationa centers," Mr. Whiteman said. In addition to the cost to thi city of losing the ballroom, the Festival lost $10,000 it had in vested last October in a new BEA Hits Board's'TopStaff' on Lack Dogwood *" in Bloom Early . ' . Â· *Â· Pinlf nnd white rinPTvnod arc apain Addincr tn thft heaiirv Of East Side Middle School Program Today's Index Page Bridge, Goren 14 Classified . 17 thru 25 Comics ,. H County: News ..,.......Â·...;. 4 Crossword Puzzle ....;....,-38 Editorials ,-.-.....Â·.:...-....-.. 12 Health, Dr. Steincrohn :..;. U H e l o i s e ; ; . . - . . : . . . . . . . . . . , . . . . 1) Home and Fashions ,'Â·..Â·...,,'.. IJ Horoscope '..;'.,. X Obituaries .......'..... 1C Society News ... .'.Â· 13 Snorts ..Â·'....-. 10-11 Stage' and Screen 8-9 TV, Radio Programs IS The Bridgeport Education association yesterday called for new policies from the top staff of the Board of Education to preserve the middle school concept, particularly concerning the East Side middle school. The BE A, in a statement delivered by . its president, Ralph Tr.apasso, to the Boart of Education, said the East .'Side, middle school's problems' "are. not:'in- present fuss, surmountable"' but "one.of the He said the BE A isn't taking sides in the current dispute, and this statement was directed only at the educational issues involved. Mr. Trapasso slapped at the School hoard ' for its previous move to shift some 7th and 8th graders out of the middle school and back into Thomas Hooker school. He said this led to the niost glaring deficiencies appirs to be the lack of a definitive program by the central administrative staff." " " ' '. ' ' He said .this, includes .Supt. of Schools Howard Rosenstein, the assistant superintendents and the Board of Education itself, "all of the policy-making people." The BEA chief accused the board of thereby retreating from its original policy for "quality integrated education." He said Today's Chuckle Drugstore sign: 'Try our cough syrup--you'll never get ,any better." the outcome has been "unnecessary turmoil" in the recent plea from Beardsley school's parents for the same treatment for their children. Mr. Trapasso admonished the board against playing favorites. "Favoritism can on!y lead to mistrust and a lack of faith," he warned, saying that the board and the superintendent have only themselves to blame for the present issue. In a point that won the general support of Board of Education president Francis_J. King, Mr Trapasso concluded: "It has been agreed by many people that one of the problems at the East Side middle school is thai (Continued on Page Five) Pink and white dogwood are again adding to the beauty of spring on famed dogwood row in the Greenfield hill area of Fairfield but the show is in marked contrast with the spectacular of 1972, as the photos on Page Three show. The white blossoms are a bit ahead of the ptoks but many of the trees are already sporting green leaves, cutting into the appearance of the blossoms. The leaves are away ahead of schedule as they normally don't make their appearance until She blossoms'*are ready to.fade away for another year. Hundreds of visitors are expected to view the dogwoods during the next three weeks. The annual dogwood festival opens May 12. ' oof for the structure, and also ost $6,000 worth of tables,10,000 worth of chairs and- 115,000 worth of sound equipment it had purchased for the -arious' Festival events which were to take place in the ballroom this year. "The city had also invested J10,000 in the hew roof. The festival events slated for the ballroom, for which new locations must be found, are the /irgin Islands night, the Square-0-Rama, Beer Garden, Â·Cing and Queen Coronation ball, the South Night, the New Or- eans Jazz Night, and the teenage dance. Mr. Whiteman said that festival officials will now look closely at the Wonderland of Ice building to stage many of the events and he said some of the events, which; normally take place indoors, will probably take place in an outside area. While the Pleasure Beach ballroom, which is capable of accommodating between 3,000 and 3,500 dancers -- and often did during the Big, Band era, has had its share of maintenance problems; somehow it has escaped serious damage from a variety of other blazes at Pleasure beach. The most recent: Maze, destroyed much of the park's midway area in September last year; and in 1953 another spectacular blaze destroyed another section of the midway; but the ballroom escaped both blazes. Many times -- despite the fact that the popularity of name bands and dancing was rapidly declining -- the city has given the ballroom a "face lift" in an effort to use it for civic functions. Because it was never winterized, however, it could only be used in the warm months of the year, and was never able to "pull its own weight'. 1 financially after the death of the Big Band era. ' Â· Although it reached a point of deterioration a number of times, it was always restored and new uses were always found to justify its maintenance. It was still the largest indoor area in the area, and on many occasions (Continued on Page Two) Firm Offers Shuttles to Resort Areas-Air Service Expanded Here Again Rainbow Air, a division of Rainbow Air 'Systems, Ltd., has begun regular weekend air shuttle service from Bridgeport Municipal airport to the resort areas of East Hampton, Long Island, Martha's Vineyard, Hyannis and Block Island, it was announced today by William S. Kingson, president. RainbowAir is the second airline to announce new service from Bridgeport airport within the past few days. Pilgrim Air- Only a Judge, Not Police, Could Act, Bail Official Says Release of Holdup Suspect After Mob Violence 'Not Proper* By ROBERT H. LASKA The bail commissioner of Second Circuit court here charged today that the release on Wednesday night of a ; 22-year-old South End resident whose arrest on robbery charges toiiched off mob violence in the area of. Marina Village housing project was "not a proper release." Commissioner Donald A. Brown, said police 'acted contrary to State Statute in releasing- Santiago Soto, of 443 Greg- p r y , street, who was charged with two counts of robbery in connection with the holdup of two Lebanon, N. J., men in the South End area Wednesday afternoon. ; : . .During four hours, of-the violence, beginning at 6:30 p.m., roving gangs, of ^youths pelted police and firelighters 'with rocks and bottles: : Soto was arrested that day at .5:30 p.m. on the robbery charges after Dana Butkas, 26, and Donald Sloan,-. 19, who were Â·visiting friends at Rennell hall at the University of Bridgeport, told authorities they had been i robbed of JHO by a white male and two black males. The victims told police they were searching for their stolen car, that had been taken Tuesday night, when they were held up by the trio. Patrolman Lawrence Sob- kowich.then took the pair'in a police car on a tour of the area and while driving north on Columbia street, the two victims pointed out Soto, who was standing in a group of persons at Columbia and Johnson streets, as one of the men who had robbed them, police said. Police said Soto then was taken into custody and transported to Police headquarters where he was booked after questioning. Acting Lieut, Arthur Buchanan said the violence started when two detectives went to the Columbia street area about an hour after Eoto's arrest to. look for a car in connection with another holdup investigation. A $2,500 bond was ordered for Solo when he was booked at police headquarters, Mr. Brown said, and this bond was deemed "quite fair" by assistant Bait Commissioner John Buynak who reviewed the bond at 10 p.m. and decided it should remain the same pending court arraignment. The suspect,'however, was released shortly before 11 p.m. following a conference in Police headquarters between Police Community Relations personnel and community leaders from the housing project. Soto was released, It wai (Continued on Page Five) ines based in Groton, said Thursday that the company will begin service from Bridgeport to Boston, New York city, New London and New Haven as of June 1. For the next three weekends, RainbowAir shuttle services wilt be flexible, with the company's, six-to-eight passenger aircraft on standby for use on Fridays and Sundays. After May 28, Memorial day, a regular schedule will be announced, based on the market demand determined over the next few weeks, a company spokesman said. More 'expansion is planned for RainbowAir in the future, when more planes are added to the four the company now operates, Mr. Kingson said. He said that RainbowAir will operate daily flights from Bridgeport to Islip, L. I., Albany, N. Y,, and Boston, beginning this fall. The schedule will be planned for a businessman's calendar, Mr. Kingson said, with early morning, late afternoon and evening flights'.
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