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Monday, August 24, 1981 The Daily Tar Hed3E
We swung our backpacks on and headed
into the wilderness. Seeking escape from
the frenetic activity of San Francisco, three
of us had journeyed to California's favo
rite playground, Yosemite National Park.
Our goal to experience California in its
natural element, to encounter its most
Dennis had the granola bars, the survi
val books and several great recipes for.
lichen and sasafrass roots. Jimmy toted
the hunting knife, the compass and rai
sins, while I clung tenaciously to the First
Aid kit and the emergency two-way radio.
Escaping the press of humanity was no
easy task. It was the Fourth of July, and
the trail was packed with hordes of picture-snapping
Japanese and other foot
sore tourists. Passing a boisterous Cub
Scout troop and a more sedate line of Hari
Krishnas on pilgrimage, we pushed ahead
into the park's interior.
Several hours of serious hiking brought
us to Barlow Falls, a spot reknowned for
its beauty and tranquility. It was no
more. Its desecration complete, the
natural pool and surrounding area had
become a haven for displaced beach bums
and other unsavory characters.
From page 1
harm and interferes with the FAA's essen
Another PATCO claim is that the 2,500
supervisors now serving as air traffic con
trollers are not fit for the job. Supervisors
normally do a small bit of air traffic con
trolling each day at a non-peak period, but
mostly they serve in management positions.
They are forbidden by the FAA to unionize.
"These guys were working in the office
and working with computers," Langston
said.. "They're not the most highly quali
fied people in the FAA system."
The FAA's reply is that the supervisors
are the trainers of the air traffic controllers
and that they are as qualified as the strik
ing air traffic controllers.
Even PATCO members admit that be
fore the strike supervisors in North Caro
lina received more day-to-day controlling
time than supervisors in more populated
areas, and that North Carolina airports
are not as un-safe as large-city airports.
Still, there's no doubt North Carolina
has felt the effect of the strike. The con
trol tower at Simmons-Nott Airport in New
Bern was closed on August 12. The FAA
is currently deciding whether to close the
Hickory Municipal Airport also. The FAA
ranks airports bihegiumber of flight;
they handle on aCscCf one to five, with
a five rating being the busiest. Both the
New Bern and Hickory airports are ranked
as a three.
Of the 42 controllers at Douglas, 26
remained on strike. At RDU, 22 of the 40
controllers have lost their jobs.
Each day of the strike, aviation-related
business from the airport itself to con
cessions to parking loses money. The
reduction in air travel costs the airlines
about $30 million a day. USAir laid off
- 600 workers in its home base of Pittsburgh
and Braniff Airways laid off 1,500 work
ers. Eastern cut salaries of its top execu
tives by 10 percent. Although there have
been no reports of major dismissals at
North Carolina airports, it appears to be
' only a matter of time before employees in
this state feel the unemployment pinch,
The key question to recovery if the
government doesn't rehire the striking
controllers and Reagan has said it will not
is the FAA's ability to train new con
trollers. The Reagan administration has
said it might take 17 to 21 months to re
build the system. F. Lee Bailey, famed
defense lawyer who helped form PATCO,
said on ABC's Nightline that it would take
much longer, probably about four to five
years, to rebuild the system. Bailey point
ed out that although there was a weeding
out school for aspiring air traffic control
lers in Oklahoma, controllers are actually
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, Shades of white, pink and brown flesh
dotted the rocks and banks, while the
scent of coconut oil and suntan lotion
hung heavy in the air. The only true beau
ty was to be found across the water where
the sleek figures of four topless sun
bathers, two of them female, lay stretched
across the rock.
Disgusted by this infestation of civiliza
tion, our party split a granola bar and
moved on. Many bootsteps and several
thousand feet higher, we finally arrived at
.our campsite, dusted and tired from our
strenuous day in the wilderness.
As the area near the stream was already
crowded with tents, we chose a secluded
spot under a tall stand of pines. No sooner
had we dropped our packs than an ener
getic, muscular little man came up to greet
us. "Welcome to the Great Outdoors!
My name is Roger," said he, shaking our
"Thanks,' I said, "but we've been
there all day." .
"No, no," said our host, shaking his
head. "The Great Outdoors, an organi
zation of men dedicated to having fun in
a natural setting. This is our annual ex
cursion," he said, pointing to the en
campment by the stream.
"That's fine, but what do you do out
here?" asked Dennis skeptically. "And I
don't see any women either."
trained in the control towers by supervis
ors most of whom are busy now direct
Bailey made another point that local
PATCO members in North Carolina have
stressed. While the government claims 75
percent of all flights are being handled,
Bailey said that figure refers to the larger
commercial airline flights. If all general
aviation is included, Baileysaid the system
is actually operating at about 50 percent.
Commuter airlines, which have grown
quickly in the last few years, were hard hit
and some face possible bankruptcy.
Regardless of how many flights are be
ing handled and how long it will take to
replace the striking controllers, local
PATCO members said morale is generally
high. PATCO members are currently ap
; pealing the notices they received from the
government that proposes that they be re
moved from their jobs. The appeal pro
cess promises to be lengthy, and most
likely will end up being decided in court,
but PATCO insists it will fight to the end.
"As a whole, it (morale) is very good,"
said Charlotte's Kaufman. "It goes up
and down but most of the people realize
the situation we're in and most are willing
to stand by the situation and suffer the
consequences, if there are some.
"I'll probably regret it if I lose my job
tejjrclong: run because iHrreatW'ahtf4
jsrdjngitgy things in my present "situation to regret it."
Langston felt that public opinion, once
measured as favoring Reagan's decision
to fire the strikers, may be shifting toward
the controllers. In negotiations, PATCO
wanted a $10,000 across-the-board raise,
a request Langston said most Americans
may have found hard to swallow. Lang
ston said the union had put the raise "on
the back burner" and would seek its other
proposals: a shorter workweek, earlier re
tirement and better retirement pay.
Secretary of Transportation Andrew L.
Lewis' admission that the FAA was a dif-
ficult boss to work for will also probably
help PATCO's cause with the public. Still,
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Roger looked puzzled. "Well, we teach
outdoor skills, we cook, and we ... Oh, I
get it. Well, if you guys want to do your
private thing, that's fine with us. But re-:
member, we'll be happy to have you if
you get bored and change your mind.
We've got lots of exciting activities."
After Roger left we held a hasty con
ference. "Well, we wanted to experience
California, and it is a natural setting i."
"Yes, but let's not go overboard,"
countered Dennis. "Besides, we know
nothing about their backgrounds or social
Thus dismissing our friendly neighbors
and their exuberant gaiety, we set up
camp. After a nutritious, if unappetizing,
dinner of deep-fried raisins, we settled
back contently to contemplate'the woods
and stars round us. Jimmy produced a
good supply of marijuana, price Califor
nia produce, and soon we all felt ' very
close to nature.
It was in this state of near-Nirvanah
that the bear discovered us.
"Hey," whispered Dennis, "there's a
"Yeah;" I laughed, "I see one up in
the sky." As a large furry shape crossed
my vision, I ceased any further astro
nomical observations. Passing us by, the
nocturnal marauder scrounged through
there are no negotiations taking place be
tween the FAA and PATCO. In fact, thet
government is trying to strip the right of
PATCO to bargain on behalf of the" con
trollers; which would, in effect, break the
Meanwhile, as the government tries to
replace 12,000 employees and PATCO at
tempts to stay alive, the question of safety
remains a primary concern. Is the FAA
right: are the skies as safe as ever? Or, is
Caffbor o Baptist Church .
'BSaiu &i C3riistor0 ts . ;
We Invite You to Join Us in Worship
Mike Rbberts UNC Baseball Coach
invites you to his college Bible Class
- Jesse J. Croom, Pastor
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our camp and made off with our entire
granola supply. For some time, we could
hear him in the woods, snuffling in
appreciation over our donations.
"We never should have disregarded
section E 13, clause C of the Survival
Manual," muttered Jimmy, who had
spent the previous night studying survival
techniques. "It says one should always
the government snowing the American
people by giving a false sense of safety
that would vanish with one unfortunate
"I think it's going to take some kind of
air disaster to get the government to sit
down and talk to us and admit their mis
take," Langston said. "PATCO tried to
tell the general public but they're riot get
ting a true picture of what's going on.
"I don't want to see 400 people die."
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Sunbathers enjoy rays at UNC
... to campers' despair, they invaded Yosemite
hang food and never get high in bear
The remainder of the night was spent
in nervous vigil as half the bears in
Yosemite swept down from the hills to
prowl through our camp. Clutching the
hunting knife, I could only wonder if
anyone would respond to a radio distress
call at that time of night.
THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH
AND THE CHAPEL OF THE CROSS
WELCOME YOU TO UNC
7:30, 9:00, 11:15 am, & 5:15 pm
Other Services Daily
Weekly Anglican Student Fellowship Eucharist
10 pm Wednesdays
The beginning of wisdom...
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At dawn we were off for the safety of
civilization, our enthusiasm for nature's
wonders long vanished. We left the bears
and gays of California to take care of
each other in the great outdoors.
Jonathan Rich, a junior history and poli
tical science major from Quogue, N.Y.,
spent the summer in a West Coast commune.