The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, August 06, 1975, Image 4

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Professors return from USSR
Three TAMU professors have just
returned from Leningrad, USSR.
The group from TAMU included
oceanographer Dr. Greta Fryxell,
Dr. Paul A. Fryxell of soil and crop
sciences, Dr. Stuart Lyda of plant
sciences and his wife, JoAnn.
Three of the group went as mem
bers of the Botanical Society of
“The Russians are also active in
this field, and as a result I was able
to meet and work with their top sci
entist in the field, exchange scien
tific literature, and was even asked
to go on a Russian cruise next winter
in the Indian Ocean,’ Dr. Fryxell
“The people we met were so very
kind, ” she said. “The scientists were
wonderful. I was able to visit two of
O’Bannon tells inspectors
that city codes are laws
Building codes adopted by city
governments carry the weight of
law, municipal inspectors were told
at TAMU Monday.
Robert O’Bannon said that in
spectors, city officials, developers,
contractors and the public must
abide by the limitations a code
“Let’s say a contractor wants a
building official to negate a part of
the code for one of his jobs. Who can
do this? The inspector, the mayor, a
member of the city council?”
O’Bannon said.
“No. It takes an amendment of
the law, adoption of an ordinance,’
he told participants in a one-week
Municipal Inspectors Training
School at TAMU.
“The inspector who doesn t un
derstand his job and its authority is
headed for trouble,” O’Bannon
said. “If a builder violates the code,
he can go to jail. If an inspector al
lows the code to be violated, he can
go to jail.
O’Bannon said that “nobody has
sole authority to set aside a mandat
ory regulation of a code’’ and in an
“era of consumerism, people are
discovering they’ve got rights and
are standing up for them.
“The problem is, ’’ he said, “that in
bringing about amendment changes
to codes, city councils never hear
more than one side of a case. And
the one it hears is from a party that
stands to gain the most from the
change. ”
Building permit issuance and
mobile homes also were discussed.
The inspectors agreed that today s
mobile home ought to be regulated.
“Today s mobile home is some
thing different from what it used to
be, O’Bannon said. “They are 60
feet long, expandable, two-story
and with fireplaces. They are built
one place and moved to another.
lean do.
I’m just
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Do you really
think God will
accept that?
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And that’s the end of its mobility.
“Calling it a mobile home is a lud
icrous use of the term, ’’ he said.
O’Bannon said the National Con
ference of States of Building Codes
and Standards is investigating the
matter. Their objective is inspec
tion, regulation and certification
through a uniform mobile-home
construction act.
“Building permit issuance, in a
lot of cities, is strictly a money
making business,’’ he said. “It’s al
most criminal.
The fact is, he said, that when a
building permit is issued, the per
mit issuer is saying, “I am your pro
tector. I issue this permit because
what the builder plans to do is good
and safe. Furthermore, I guarantee
that everything presented to me so
far is safe, so far. ”
“If a city that takes in money for
issuing permits shows a profit at it,
O’Bannon said, “something is
the institutes in Leningrad and met
almost all of the Russian diatomists.
“Their work in this area is well
developed, ” she said. “Also they re
able to research more because they
have no teaching load and don’t
have to spend their time applying
for grants.
“In general, we were taken to see
the old buildings from the time of
the czars, when St. Petersburg was
the capital of Russia and its window
to the world,’ Dr. Fryxell said.
“They are tremendously proud of
that plus the fact that they survived
over 900 days of seige by the Ger
man army during the war.
“Public transportation there was
efficient and veiy cheap, she said.
“Buses, street cars, and the under
ground metro were all available for a
couple of kopecks.
“Of course, we felt under con
stant supervision. We had to leave
our Time magazines at the border.
No political literature came in and
no antiques went out.
“We were helpless without the
interpreters, ” she said. “Americans
would have a difficult time there.
We had to stand in line for every
thing. You just have to be patient.
“Consumer products are in short
supply but they had dollar stores
where tourists could buy goods with
American money,” Dr. Fryxell
said. “And, we ate fine when our
hotel restaurant was expecting us.
But, our first night we were hungry
and tried to buy supper on our own
and they just weren’t interested in
selling us anything.
“You see, business just doesn t
operate on a cash-and-carry basis
there,” she said. “First, you have to
buy a slip of paper that allows you to
obtain the item that you’re after.
Then you find someone behind the
counter to sell it.”
Dr. Fryxell recalled one incident
on the border when her husband
declared a government camera as
belonging to “someone else. When
he told the officials this, they said,
“A lot of things belong to the gov
ernment, even people, don t you
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