Local news translated, July 6

Daily Host Nation Stories for July 06, 2020

lved are making the greatest possible effort to complete this comprehensive project as quickly as possible. The goal is in sight,” says Mayor Christine Kraayvanger. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, July 2)

Merkel affirms the need to wear masks

In the debate on the compulsory wearing of masks in shops and public transport, Chancellor Angela Merkel is sticking to her position. “The Chancellor, as well as the entire Federal Government, has a very clear position on this issue: Wherever the minimum distance cannot be guaranteed in public life, masks are an important and, from today’s perspective, still indispensable means of keeping infection rates low and protecting our fellow human beings and ourselves,” says government spokesperson Steffen Seibert. This is all the more important as we are now in the summer holiday season. Even regions that might have had very low case numbers are now receiving visitors from other parts of the country. This new movement is to be welcomed, Seibert emphasized, “but it must go hand in hand with the observance of the rules that have served us so well in the fight against this pandemic in recent months, which are distance, hygiene rules and, where necessary, the obligation to wear masks.” (Ntv, July 6)

Research suggests alcohol consumption has risen during the crisis

Alcohol consumption has increased for about one third of adults in Germany since the corona crisis according to a study conducted by the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim in cooperation with the Nuremberg Hospital. 35.5 percent of the more than 3000 participants in the study stated in the anonymous online survey that they had drunk more or much more alcohol during the pandemic than before. The survey is not representative; however, it provides initial findings on consumption habits during the corona-related initial restrictions. The German government had recently referred to the study in a response to a small question by the FDP parliamentary group. (RP.Online, July 6)

German Armed Forces service dogs are sniffing out corona infection

Service dogs of the Bundeswehr are learning how to detect a corona infection. The Armed Forces and the Hanover Veterinary University Foundation are testing this possibility in a project involving ten four-legged friends of the only service dog school of the German Armed Forces near Ulmen in the Volcanic Eifel. Sheepdogs, spaniels, and retrievers are involved, as the Armed Forces Office announced. Sniffer dogs can detect explosives or drugs by the molecular composition of an odor, and they can also smell various cancers and the threatening hypoglycaemia of diabetics. The idea for the Corona project was developed on this basis. “With a current hit rate of approximately 80 percent, the researchers in Ulmen are well on the way to successfully continuing the project,” explained the school of service dogs. Reliable results are expected to be available in a few weeks. (Welt, July 6)

Outdoor fun booms during lockdown

Everything that has to do with the outdoors is booming since the Corona crisis. Since cinema, concerts and city festivals have been cancelled and the classic holiday destinations seem unreachable, people have been drawn to the local nature. Camping, for example, is more popular than ever and sellers and rental companies for these activities are profiting.

The company Rent-a-Trip rents and sells campers in Plattenhardt. Since the first Corona loosening “people have been running us down,” says Carsten Baginski, the responsible manager. Many wanted to be flexible and self-sufficient, “a very big aspect is safety.” Most of the 18 rental vehicles are gone, sales have doubled compared to the previous year, he says. And it’s not only permanent campers who are hot for this type of travel. Up to 65 percent of the inquiries come from new owners of camper vans.

Meanwhile, many are discovering a passion for hiking. According to Jana Heinrich, at the Möhringer bookstore Pegasus, cycling, walking and hiking guides for the region are very popular, as are travel guides for Germany. Uwe Meinhardt, the owner, speaks of a shift from international to local. And also at Seiffert in Leinfelden the demand for excursion and hiking guides has been high for weeks. “It’s a striking change that people now want to discover this area,” says Sabine Brauer-Seiffert. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, July 5)

Non-Corona news

Guided Sindelfingen City tours in July

The Department of Culture of the city of Sindelfingen offers three different city tours in July. The starting point is always at the i-Punkt, Marktplatz 1, where you can buy your tickets for 3 € per person, children can participate free of charge. According to current Corona regulations, up to 20 participants are authorized. They have to leave their data at the i-Punkt for a possible contact chain tracking, which will be saved for 4 weeks.

Thursday, 9 July, 3 p.m. “Historical city tour

The historical center of Sindelfingen with the Romanesque St. Martin’s Church and canon’s monastery is the focus of this guided tour. For thousands of years people have lived in the area of today’s city of Sindelfingen. It was a long way from the Roman settlement to the modern industrial city. The city was founded in 1263 and the Romanesque St. Martin’s Church was already the center of a canon monastery which was known far beyond the region. During the historical city tour, many old traces can be  discovered.

Sunday, 19 July, 3 pm “Old town with focus on half-timbered houses

Sindelfingen as a half-timbered town is still relatively unknown to most visitors. From the oldest known house dating from 1363 to the “high-rise” with several floors, the numerous, often medieval half-timbered houses offer a fascinating view of times past. Sindelfingen is part of the German Fachwerkstraße.

Sunday, 26 July, 3 p.m. “Witch hunt in Sindelfingen

In the 16th and 17th centuries, the population of Sindelfingen suffered severely from the witch craze that was rampant in Europe: between 1563 and 1616, at least 21 women were burned as witches in the then small town. In the town archive there is still a large part of the original protocols, which provide information about the local witch trials and individual fates.

The Office of Culture also offers group tours at any time. Information is available at the i-Punkt, Marktplatz 1, by telephone on 070 31/94-3 25 or by e-mail to i-Punkt@sindelfingen.de. (Sindelfingen, Press Release, July 3)

12,000 Bikers cripple traffic

Federal Transportation Minister Andreas Scheuer remains opposed to tightening regulations for motorcyclists. He will not implement the recommendations of the Federal States to introduce time-limited traffic bans on Sundays and holidays for noise protection reasons, the CSU politician said. Over the weekend, motorcyclists throughout Germany protested the Bundesrat’s demand. About 12,000 bikers gathered in Stuttgart and caused traffic obstructions. ( Stuttgarter Nachrichten, July 6)

Flags for peace – City of Sindelfingen participates in Flag Day on July 8

In the past, the city of Sindelfingen has continued its membership in the “Mayors for Peace” association of cities, which has existed since 1986, through exhibitions and lectures. This year, the city will participate in the so-called “Flag Day”, which always takes place on July 8. This day is a reminder of a legal opinion issued by the International Court of Justice on 8 July 1996, according to which the use of nuclear weapons violates fundamental principles of international humanitarian law. The flag will be raised in front of the City hall on Monday, 8 July 2020. In these fragile times, it is all the more important to send a signal for peace, for more solidarity and community.

The association “Mayors for Peace” was founded in 1982 on the initiative of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The two Japanese cities were destroyed by the first atomic bombs in 1945 and have since become a symbol of the catastrophic effects of nuclear warfare.

Membership in the Mayors for Peace Association of Cities gives an international dimension to the desire to abolish nuclear weapons. Over 7900 cities worldwide have now joined the association. (Sindelfingen, Press Release, July 6)

Construction on firing range noise barrier delayed

On Thursday the city of Böblingen announced that there will be a further delay in the planned construction to build a noise barrier around the U.S. Army’s firing range on Panzer Kaserne. Instead of starting this fall, construction work will probably not begin until Spring of 2021. The construction work on the firing ranges is expected to take about a year.  During the construction period, shooting operations will have to be restricted, and will bring some peace to the nearby residents of the range.

Colonel Jason W. Condrey, the Commander of the USAG Stuttgart, Panzer Kaserne personally informed the members of the Citizens’ Initiative against Shooting Noise at a meeting last Wednesday afternoon about the decision. The meeting was also attended by the Lord Mayor of Böblingen, Dr. Stefan Belz, as well as the Mayor of Construction, Christine Kraayvanger, and Armin Weber from the State Construction Department in Stuttgart, which is the office that plans and coordinates the construction work.

“The reason that the construction start had to be delayed, is that extensive coordination, planning and approval phase between the German and US sides took much longer than expected,” Weber explained, “as well as the additional restrictions imposed by the Corona virus since mid-March. Weber hopes that there will be no further delays, for example due to weather conditions or problems with construction companies to obtain the appropriate material.

“This makes us anything but satisfied. However, we must deal with it together in the best possible way, just like with other construction projects. We know that this will continue to test the patience of those affected. However, I am convinced that all those involved are making the greatest possible effort to complete this comprehensive project as quickly as possible. The goal is in sight,” says Mayor Christine Kraayvanger. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, July 2)