Local news translated – March 2, 2023

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

Host Nation Update, March 2, 2023

U-Bahn and Stuttgart/Esslingen buses impacted by strike Friday
Most public transportation services in Stuttgart, Esslingen, and several other cities across Baden-Württemberg will be at a standstill on Friday, Mar. 3, 2023, due to a warning strike by members of the ver.di union. View the full story here.


Stuttgart and region – Verdi strikes also in daycare centers next Wednesday

The planning of more strikes continues:  Wednesday next week is the next big strike day in the Stuttgart region. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, especially the classic women’s occupations are on the line. Accordingly, a large part of the daycare centers in the city of Stuttgart and in the three counties of Böblingen, Ludwigsburg and Rems-Murr will be affected, and parents have been informed.

Verdi expects a total of several thousand strikers.  The events on International Women’s Day are supported by the “Action Alliance March 8”. From 16.30 o’clock a demonstration is planned on the market place with following demonstration. Several thousand participants are expected.  Next Wednesday, there will be no strike in the areas that are already in the spotlight this Friday or have already been affected: the transport service and the buses of the Stuttgart streetcars (SSB) as well as the waste collection, i.e. the waste management Stuttgart (AWS).

The union is not yet saying to what extent Stuttgart Airport could be the target of action again, as it was almost two weeks ago. However, an intensification in the respective wage disputes outside the public sector can apparently be expected in the near future. At the beginning of this week, the union instigated warning strikes at Cologne/Bonn and Düsseldorf airports.  With these actions, Verdi wants to put pressure on the public employers to agree to the 10.5 percent demand. The employers’ offer, recently presented in Potsdam, only provides for a pay rise of five percent over a period of 27 months. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Mar 2)


End for oil and gas heating systems – Are homeowners in Baden-Württemberg now threatened with bankruptcy?

Pray that the current heating system will remain intact for at least the next few years. Otherwise, even those who now count themselves as part of the secure middle class face a considerable financial bloodletting. “Especially older people can be hit hard,” says Ottmar Wernicke, the managing director of Haus und Grund in Baden-Württemberg.  Older people live above average often in older houses. If the oil or gas heating breaks down there after January 1, then, according to the plans of the Minister, no simple replacement is possible. If there is no pipeline with district heating in the street or if there is no possibility to store masses of wood pellets in the cellar, then, according to experts, only the installation of a heat pump is possible, which is very expensive. To operate this technology sensibly and effectively, extensive renovation work on the house or apartment is often necessary. “In extreme cases, you even have to move out for the time of the work,” says Wernicke.  “More and more people are now quickly buying a new gas boiler to escape the new regulations,” says Jobst. However, many tradesmen are already fully booked this year, he adds. The fact that the future belongs to renewable energies, and more attention must be paid to the environment when heating, is not questioned by the owners’ association Haus und Grund.  A further problem: Differently than with gas heaters it depends with heat pumps very much more on the individual case. And the individual case determines at the end also, which amount will be calculated. Will new radiators or underfloor heating be needed? Do walls have to be torn up and new pipes laid? Does new insulation have to be installed? Oil is still the most popular heating fuel in Baden Württemberg.  According to statistics, there are around 2.5 million residential buildings with 5.4 million apartments in Baden-Württemberg. 33 percent of the apartments equipped with central heating are heated with oil, three percent less with gas. The share of electric heat pumps is currently still below two percent. But that also means that not every mechanic is familiar with the new technology.  However, there is less confidence that every homeowner will be able to cope with the financial burden. There will be many hardship applications, estimates Knapp. Of course, he cannot yet say anything about the details. The study of 100 pages of new, convoluted legal text is still ongoing.   (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Mar 2)


A 81 between Böblingen and Sindelfingen – Only one lane accessible towards Stuttgart on the weekend

In the course of the A 81 expansion between Böblingen and Sindelfingen, traffic will be tight this coming weekend in the area of the interim lanes in the direction of Stuttgart. The road construction company will close the left lane from 10 p.m. on Friday, March 3, until 5 a.m. on Monday morning, March 6.  The closure is taking place because so-called overpasses are being installed in the median strip of the interim lanes. This will enable emergency services to access any accident scene from either side during future operations in both directions. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Mar 1)


Presentation on Friday “Youth researches” in the city hall Sindelfingen

What ideas and projects will the young scientists present? It is always exciting to see what comes out of “Jugend forscht”. This year, the city of Sindelfingen is once again sponsoring the regional competition in the Middle Neckar region together with six sponsors. On Friday, March 3, the participants will present their research projects to the public from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the town hall. Under the motto “Make ideas big!”, children and young people from the region will compete with 42 research projects in Germany’s best-known competition for young scientists.

The favorite among the seven subject areas is once again technology with 15 projects. In second place is the world of work (11), with mathematics and chemistry sharing third place (5 each). Sindelfingen and Böblingen schools are again strongly represented this year: Seven schools submitted 22 of the 42 entries. Nationwide, more than 9000 young researchers have registered for the competition. “Jugend forscht” is pleased to report a record proportion of girls in the 58th round – more than 41 percent.  The best young scientists qualify for the state competitions in Heilbronn and Balingen.  The final round is the 58th national final in Bremen from May 18 to 21. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Mar 2)

s.  (Boeblinge, Mar 1)