Local news translated – Dec. 18, 2023

Graphic by U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart Public Affairs Office

Host Nation Update, Dec. 18, 2023

Otto Ruppaner wins Lord Mayor election in Leinfelden-Echterdingen

It remained exciting until the very end, and it was unclear who would win the race for the mayor’s seat in the town hall. But now one thing is certain: the municipality of Köngen will have to look for a new mayor. Otto Ruppaner will steer the fortunes of Leinfelden-Echterdingen in future and succeed Roland Klenk, who is retiring in the spring. The 41-year-old from Köngen won the run-off election on Sunday with 53.3 percent of the votes cast against Raiko Grieb, who received 46.7 percent of the votes and was therefore only 6.6 percentage points behind the winner. The district leader of Stuttgart-Süd and Ministerial Councillor in the Ministry of Economic Affairs thus achieved a respectable result. The voter turnout was 39 percent.  Exactly 29,745 eligible voters were called to cast their vote again on Sunday, as none of the six candidates for mayor had achieved an absolute majority in the first round of voting on December 3. Otto Ruppaner and Raiko Grieb had received the most votes that day. They therefore competed against each other in the run-off on Sunday.  Ruppaner, who is independent, was supported in the election campaign by the Free Voters and FDP councillors. (SN Dec 18)

Weather in Baden-Württemberg – is there any chance of a white Christmas?

According to the German Weather Service (DWD), Christmas in the southwest is likely to be wet instead of white this year. Unstable and rainy weather is expected from Wednesday into the Christmas holidays, said a DWD meteorologist. “The outlook doesn’t look so good, we’re expecting a lot of rain,” said the expert. But at least the start of the pre-Christmas week should be sunny in many places. Monday and Tuesday will be dominated by an area of high pressure, explained the meteorologist. “That means lots of sunshine, but also fog in places.” On Tuesday night, the frost will weaken and it will be rainy. Towards Sunday, i.e. Christmas Eve, temperatures are likely to stabilize around ten degrees, according to the expert. Snowfall is not the rule at Christmas. There may be a few flakes above 1000 meters over the holidays.

It will be stormy in the lowlands. Wind speeds of up to 80 kilometers per hour are expected. The wind will come from the west. Thursday in particular will be very windy and stormy. Gale-force gusts of 120 kilometers per hour are expected on the Feldberg. Rain and storms could also cause rivers and lakes to swell again on Thursday and Friday. There are significant continuous rain warnings for the Black Forest. (SN 18 Dec)

Car demo in Stuttgart- Truck drivers demonstrate against tolls and CO2 tax

Dozens of trucks and tractors were on the road in Stuttgart on Saturday afternoon. The drivers wanted to show their displeasure with the toll charges and the CO2 tax with the car demonstration.  The meeting point was at the Wasen at 11 a.m., from where they set off at 1 p.m. through Mercedesstrasse, the Schwanentunnel and through the city. Around 25 police officers were on site. However, according to the police, there was no traffic chaos and no major incidents were reported. The end point of the procession was the Cannstatter Wasen.  Similar demonstrations had also taken place in other federal states such as Bavaria and Berlin. The protest was against the plans of the green/red/black government coalition to abolish tax concessions for agricultural diesel and also to levy vehicle tax on tractors, combine harvesters and harvesting machines. The German Farmers’ Association is planning a protest event in Berlin today.

“The announced end to agricultural diesel is a hard blow for our farmers,” said Nina Warken, Secretary General of the Southwest CDU. This endangers the future and competitiveness of agriculture in Baden-Württemberg. (SN December 18)

Irish Pub “O’Donovan” continues: an Irishman takes over the Irish pub

If Sinéad O’Leary and her business partner Yvonne Morgenthaler could have imagined a successor for their Irish pub O’Donovans, well, it would probably have been the spitting image of Ryan Nee. “He’s what we were looking for,” says Sinéad O’Leary, who ran the Irish pub in Böblingen’s artists’ quarter for 24 years. In the summer, the owners decided with a heavy heart to sell the pub because they were running out of steam. It was a matter close to their hearts to find a successor who would continue to run O’Donovans in their spirit – or even better.  Ryan Nee himself is still a little surprised that everything has turned out this way and that he will be running the Irish pub from January 1st. His original plan was to emigrate to Barcelona. But the opportunity came at the right time, he says, and “it somehow fell into place”. From the outside, it seems that everything just fell into place.  Who is the new guy? Ryan Nee is the son of an Irishman and a German and grew up in Schönaich. His father Joe used to be a regular at O’Donovans – as a plumber and as a guest. “He was a great help to me. If anything happened, I called Joe,” Sinéad O’Leary remembers her fellow countryman. “It was home for me, and for him too.”  Ryan Nee’s parents moved to Ireland in 2007; he followed them two years later at the age of 19. He studied marketing in Galway and worked in bars, later working for the online retailer Amazon. He likes the Irish way of life: “It’s easier to live in Ireland,” says the 33-year-old. People work hard there, perhaps even harder than in this country, “but they don’t forget to live”. Going out in pubs and socializing are an integral part of the culture.  After his father’s death in February, he and his mother decided to move back to Germany. Mainly to spend time with his 93-year-old grandmother, who lives in Schönaich. But also, to experience four seasons again and not always just the rainy Irish autumn. “It snowed the other day, it was so beautiful,” says Ryan Nee, beaming like a child.  (SN Dec 18)