Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on February 6, 1978 · Page 6
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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania · Page 6

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Monday, February 6, 1978
Page 6
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-.A i V fl POST-GAZETTE: Mon., Feb. 6. Area Discos Hopping, Business 'Only Gets - V n' l -s ? ' 1 5 1 1 1 - 1 ' ALBERT FRENCH Post-Gazette Electric Banana owner John Zarra found go-go was gone-gone but says disco is dy n-o-mile on his Bigelow Boulevard dance floor. Ex-Babysitter, 2 Men Held in Klein Kidnapping NEW YORK (AP)-A young woman who used to babysit for fashion designer Calvin Klein's 11-year-old daughter has confessed to kidnapping the child for $100,000 in ransom, Assistant District Attorney Thomas DeMakis said' yesterday. He said two men also confessed to plotting with the woman in the kidnapping. "All three defendants have made full tape-recorded confessions to me," DeMakis told Judge Leo Milonas during (be Criminal Court arraignment of Paula Christine Ransay, 23; her half-brother, Dominque Ransay, 19, and Cecil Wiggins, 24. DeMakis said Miss Ransay told him during her confession Saturday night that she was surprised to learn that Ransay had been picked up "because die fully expected him to be out of the country by then. Milonas ordered Miss Ransay held in $50,000 bail. Ransay's bail was set at $100,000. Wiggins was held in $100,000 bail in the Klein case plus $5,000 bail on a 1970 weapons charge. DeMakis had urged the judge to hold all three without bail, noting that the Ransays are citizens of Martinque and Wiggins had failed to appear in court in 1970 on the weapons charge. But legal aid attorney Harvey Fisb- Gallup Poll Public Employee Strikes Opposed by Majority By GEORGE GALLUP PRINCETON, N.J. - While most Americans support the principle of labor unionism, they are increasingly opposed to the right of public employees to strike. Specifically, 59 percent of the public approve of labor unions while about half this many, 31 percent, disapprove. However: A 61 percent majority thinks policemen should not be allowed to strike, an increase of 9 percentage points since 1975; 62 percent would not allow firemen to strike - a 7 percentage point increase since 1975; 51 percent say teachers should not Viets Recalling U.N. Envoy Accused as Spy TOKYO (AP) -Vietnam said yesterday it is recalling United Nations Ambassador Din Ba Thi. The announcement came two days after Thi, accused by the United States of spying and ordered out of the country, said he would not leave. Official Vietnam radio, in a broadcast monitored here, sard Hanoi recalled Thi because "the U.S. government is trying to disturb activities of the Vietnamese ambassador." In Washington, state department spokesman Charles Shapiro said of the reported recall: "We welcome it, if it is true. We have assumed all along that Thi would leave." Thi was not available for comment yesterday and there was no immediate indication when he will leave. He became the first U.N. chief of mission ordered out by the United States after a grand jury named him an unindicted co-conspirator in a federal spy case involving a U.S. Information Agency employee and a Vietnamese expatriate. USM employee itonaai louis Humphrey and Vietnamese economist Truong Dinh Hung have pleaded innocent to passing confidential American cables to the Vietnamese. The Vietnamese mission challenged the right of the United States to expel a diplomat to the United Nations, headquartered in. New York, and said Thi would "continue to carry out formally his duty." 1978 'it' -4 Iff-if bein argued that Wiggins was a confused 16-year-old at the time the weapons charge was lodged against him. And he said none of the three defendants had the financial resources to flee the country. The trio was arrested late Saturday and charged with Friday's kidnapping of Marci Klein, the fashion designer's only child. Officials say no. other arrests are anticipated. Miss Ransay was with the sobbing child when she was released Friday evening. Marci was held in captivity for more than nine hours in Miss Ransay's East Side apartment, police said. Police bad said earlier the woman was considered a victim in the kidnapping. They said Miss Ransay told them she was forced by three men to lure the blonde child from a public bus and into the kidnappers' arms early Friday. Police and FBI said at a news conference Saturday that all but $100 of the $100,000 ransom was recovered when the trio were arrested. The missing $100, officials said, was spent in an "evening on the town." Officials have declined to elaborate on the investigation that led to the change of Miss Ransay's "victim" status and the arrests. be permitted to strike, a marginal increase in this sentiment (3 percentage points) since 1975. A recent 18-nation survey conducted by Gallup International Research Institutes shows 54 percent of Americans predicting that 1978 will be a year of industrial disputes and strikes, whereas only 23 percent take the opposite view. The public's current endorsement of trade unionism is down from the levels recorded in the period 1936 through the 1960s, but is the same as the figure recorded in the most recent previous survey, in 1973, when 59 percent also approved. The findings reported today come at a time when confidence in labor unions remains at a low ebb both in the united states and in other nations, including Great Britain. In the United" States for example, only 16 percent of the public expresses "a great deal" of confidence in organized labor, with the percentage not much higher among labor union families 25 percent. In addition, only 13 percent of Americans give labor union leaders a "very high" or "high" rating for their honesty and ethical standards, while 47 percent give them a rating of "low" or very low." Regarding British attitudes toward labor unions, recent Gallup Polls in that nation have shown the public standing of unions to be at one of the lowest levels observed during the past two decades. For example, two-thirds of Britons believe that the views of the trade union (labor union) leadership do not represent the views of the rank-and-file members. There has also been an increase in the proportion who believe that the unions are becoming too powerful. The right of British firemen and police to strike is opposed by 50 and 49 percent, respectively, while 43 percent support the strike right of both groups. However, in Great Britain as in the United States, the principle of unionism is supported. A majority of 53 percent, of the British, according to Gallup surveys in that country, believe trade unions are, on the whole, a "good thing" for Britain, while 33 percent say a "bad thing." t The latest U.S. results reported today are based on in-person interviews with 1,536 adults, 18 and older, taken in more than 300 scientifically selected localities across the nation during the period Jan. 6-9. MM (Continued from Page 1) club is only a few blocks away from the Banana. When Zarra was struggling with his go-go lounge, he vacationed frequently in his back yard. This year he's jetting off to Bimini for a deep-sea fishing expedition. "The business has been goodjor me," he said, hoisting up the drink to his lips and ordering another, including a round for the Wizzard. One of the most successful discos in the area is the Backstage at the Holiday House. Bert Sokol, Holiday House executive, said he surveyed hundreds of discos around the country before deciding to invest more than $500,000 in the disco. That was three years ago. "I certainly felt it would work," said Sokol, nattily tailored and coiffed and looking like he weekends in Bermuda. "And the Backstage is the success that I always thought it would be." He attributed part of its success to being one of the first, and also to the spillover of patrons of the Holiday House's main room into the disco. The stronger the act in the main room, he said, the more crowded the disco is later in the evening. Sokol said in the years the disco has been open, business has never fallen off. "It only gets better," he said. The disco's liquor income approaches $20,-000 a week and the overhead is nomi-nal-the deejay's salary and that of the bartenders and waitresses. (Deejays earn between $50 and $100 a night live band minimums start at about $200 a night. A deejay at one of the bigger clubs can earn between $25,00O-$30,00O a year). He stressed that having a successful, disco is a combination of things: from ambience of the room to the kind of music the deejay plays. "The disc jockey is very important," he said. "He must be able to program the music to the kind of people we attract. If he didn't have the ability to do this judiciously, we would have problems. People simply would be turned off and go somewhere else." Sokol added that periodic promotions, such as dance contests and special disco parties, are important to keep up the momentum of his disco. Also, every Sunday night there are disco dance classes and "people from 21 to 65 show up," he said. Part of the reason for the success story of the disco movement is the fact that discos draw women because "women love to dance," and wherever women go, the men are sure to follow, Sokol said. Shelley Smilack is another disco owner who's pleased with the way business has been going. He took the plunge about a year ago, converting a large section of his restaurant the Old Spa Innertubes: Sliding . . Flying . . A crowd came to Lakewood Park in Hopewell Township, Beaver County, yesterday to show how easy it is to slide on the snow. And just how much fun it can be ... or not be. The innertube rider at right shows how to take a bump in perfect stride or slide while below, the rider becomes airborne after a bump and beats bis innertube across the finish line. - HARRY COUGHANOURPost-Gaiette V ghetti Factory in Plum Borough-intb a disco called the Disco Factory. Business has been so solid that he plans to open another disco under the same roof in another section of his restaurant complex. Smilack said he differs from most of the other disco businessmen in the area in that he is as interested in the art of dance as he is in the art of making a profit. Thus, he runs his disco more like a hobby than a business. He offers more dance classes than any other disco in the area, and the dance floor of the Disco Factory is large in comparison with the size of the room. "A lot of discos have postage-stamp dance floors," he said. "And that's because the owners don't want the people doing too much dancing because they want them over at the bar drinking because that's where the money is. But I'm really interested in the dancing aspect of the movement and I'm glad when people are out there on the floor. I'm not after the fast buck, but the long dollar that is, the profit over an extended period of time. If people are having a good time here, that means repeat business. That's what I'm after. And I just love to see people dance." Smilack sees the movement as the panacea for everything from a bad back to marital discord and cited an electronic medium as helping business: "You know what's really helped the-disco business here and around the country? Lousy TV shows. That's right. Bad TV is forcing people out of their living rooms and onto the dance floor. We're benefitting from weak television programming, along with those guys who make those machines, what are ' they called? Pong machines. That's it: (Pong machines." Discos are not only great for single people, Smilack said, but also for couples. "Used to be the husband would go bowling and the wife would play bridge. But the discos have enabled them to do something together. You'd be surprised at how many people come up to me and tell me that dancing has saved their marriage. It's great to hear things like that. But it really doesn't surprise me. I'm glad it's taking off. It has sociological overtones that are healthy. People doing things together. What a relief after that hassle in the 1960s when everybody hated everybody else and psychedelic music was in and the world was in a mess. It's great to see people out there enjoying themselves." He smiled as he surveyed couples, from' those in their 20s to" those well into middle age, swaying across the floor to a disco tune that owed a lot to the samba. Among the discos opened here' last year were the two V.I.P. clubs. They are doing well and each will gross "at least $1 million" this year, according to mm K'ut Parris Westbrook, director of operations of the Pittsburgh-based 2001 Clubs of America, which franchises the clubs nationwide. He said that in addition to the two V.I.P. clubs here, there are 12 else-where-from New York to Baton , Rouge. "The movement hasn't even started to peak," he said. "It's going to get even bigger and grow more sophisticated in years to come." But will the proliferation of discos in this area and elsewhere hurt business over-all? All of the disco owners answered negatively, saying there's enough business out there for everybody. The owners also noted that those frequenting discos like to move from one club to another, and this helps to spread out the profit margin. But they -stressed that the regulars are their mainstay It appears that certain discos attract particular crowds. The Backstage seems to draw the fashionable, boutique-set who are as interested in what they wear as how they move on the dance floor, the Library in the Bank, Downtown, seems to attract junior executives in three-piece suits and secretaries who are looking for a double-knit prince; the Next Step in the Marriott draws not only guests at the inn but also the hipuburban crowd; Zelda's Greenhouse in Oakland is a haven for the college crowd; and the Giraffe, in Parkway Center-one of the first discos to open here seems to attract young singles. One of the apparent reasons for the success of discos is that dancing is an inexpensive form of entertainment. Unlike other cities, most discos here don't charge a cover and drinks are not overpriced, with few exceptions. Median price for a mixed drink is about $1.50 (but they can go as high as $2.75, which is what they cost at the Marriott's Next Step disco). Thus, a couple can trip the light fantastic without stretching the budget. "It's a hell of a lot cheaper than bowling," Smilack said. Pittsburgh's disco revolution is not in a vacuum. The discos are also booming throughout the country and an estimated 15,000 of them are responsible for approximate! v $4 billion in sales, according to Billboard, the national trade weekly of the record industry. And the disco owners aren't the only ones benefitting1 from the craze. So are the record companies and the clothing stores. But the business apparently is hurting musicians, who are finding it increasingly difficult to find jobs. "Discos are killing the band business," said one irate local musician. ,. . "Although the disco movement is going to be around for quite a while," said the Holiday House's Sokol, "that doesn't necessarily mean that the discos open in this area today are going to be ; . & if" Better here a year from now. The owners have got to Keep up with the times, they've got to give their customers the right music, the right environment. The owners have got to promote and advertise to keep the ball rolling. "The dancing phenomenon Is going to reach tremendous proportions before it begins to peak. You just watch." And as long as people continue wanting to dance Sokol may be right that the disco movement will continue to rock on. Israel Defends Settlement As Research Site New York Times News Stvlc JERUSALEM-The secretary of the Israeli cabinet yesterday defended the government's decision to label a controversial new community at ancient Shiloh as an "archeological dig" rather than as a new Israeli settlement on the occupied West Bank. Tne secretary, Aryeh Naor, told newsmen after yesterday's weekly cabinet session that the controversy over Shiloh had been discussed because of "incorrect" press reports both here and abroad regarding the government's intentions for the site. The controversy over Shiloh has involved President Carter, who last week expressed concern over it to Prime Minister Menachem Begin through diplomatic channels. The U.S. position is that Israeli settlement on occupied Arab lands is "illegal" and that the establishment of Jewish communities there constitutes an "obstacle to peace." Settlers at Shiloh currently numbering about 40 students and 10 families - are members of the ultranation-alistic Gush Emunim, or Faith Bloc, who believe that the lands of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, which Israel captured during the 1967 war, are open for Jewish settlement because of their biblical associations with the ancient Jews. Begin was a major supporter of the Gush Emunim during his long tenure as opposition leader. Naor said that the people at Shiloh had received only a permit from the military governor to engage in excavations. Asked about the duration of the permit, Naor said only that archeological digs require much preparation and lengthy digging. "The fact is that they have a license only for archeological digging," Naor told the English-language radio here. "In Shiloh there was an ancient town, some 3.500 years ago. They have a license to find this ancient town but not to build a new one." On Jan. 23, the holiday of Tu Bi'-Shvat, or the New Year of Trees, members of the Shiloh site and several hundred supporters planted trees and saplings at the "dig" and laid a cornerstone. Members of the Gush Emunim interviewed at that time said the talk of an archeological dig was a cover and that they planned a new permanent Israeli settlement. Carter, Sadat To Push Peace (Continued from Page 1) officers, leading senators and representatives, journalists and American Jewish leaders. Sadat will also address the National Press Club today and give several television interviews. His schedule is an almost exact replica of the recent visits of Israeli prime ministers, including Menachem Begin's last year. And his purpose seems to be much the same: to do everything possible to win over American public opinion, including that of the Jewish community, to the Egyptian position. Sadat has repeatedly expressed his view that the Israelis have done nothing to match the concession he made with his history-making visit to Jerusalem last November. He evidently wants Carter and the United States to pressure Israel into more forthcoming concessions, especially on the Palestinian issue. In the White House statement issued last evening, Carter was described as having "a better understanding of President Sadat's concerns" about the slow pace of the talks, which the Egyptian leader contends have been blocked by Israeli intransigence. But Carter, the statement said, also explained to Sadat that the United States sees itself as "friend of both sides" in the talks. ' While the two presidents held their second day of private talks at Camp David, Secretary of State Cyrus R. "Vance and Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Ibrahim Kamel conferred for 90 minutes at the State Department. They met in the secretary's eighth-floor office, accompanied by several top aides, and compared notes over cups of coffee and tea. After reviewing their impressions of Saturday's working session at Camp David, the diplomats drafted the woro!-ing of the statement that was issued yesterday afternoon by the White House. One participant in the meeting explained that yesterday's statement was designed as an interim report on the Carter-Sadat consultations and that a more substantive statement would be issued Wednesday after the two presidents meet once more. Stowe Janitor Held In 2 Arson Cases A Stowe Township man is in the County Jail today awaiting a hearing on the arson of a trucking firm where he worked and a 1976 blaze that destroyed the McKees Rocks Boys Club. Edward Waltz, 40, of 9 Ochard St., is jailed in lieu of $50,000 bond and will have a preliminary hearing tomorrow .before Stowe Magistrate John Mussman. Waltz, a janitor at Allegheny Freight Lines, is charged with setting t fire ,. there last week. He also is suspected in the 1976 boys club fire and in another fire at a vacant apartment complex.

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