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Adding These Wings to Your House May Cause a Flap

October 12, 1987|DEBORAH CHRISTENSEN

--Bats in your belfry? Bat Conservation International suggests a "bat house" as a saner alternative and expects brisk sales during the Halloween season. The bat houses, made of rough-sawed western red cedar, are designed as a safe haven for a variety of North American species and offer separate "bedrooms" that can accommodate up to 30 bats at once, said Bat Conservation International spokesman Arden Tuttle. The nonprofit group, which has sold about 3,000 of the $34.95 bat houses since last year, hopes that nature lovers will attach them to trees and buildings, just as they do birdhouses. "Bats are so important and so needed and yet their decline is incredible," Tuttle said, adding that hundreds of thousands of bats are killed needlessly by people who consider them deadly.

--When Politburo Secretary Viktor P. Nikonov came to the United States as a part of a Soviet agriculture delegation, he practiced his own form of glasnost, or "openness," by cutting short a discourse on capitalism by Iowa State University agricultural economist Stanley Johnson and coming straight to the point. "We're not going to redo your social structure," he said through an interpreter. "You're not going to redo ours either." Rather, he said: "I'd like to see a laboratory or farm." He got his wish an hour later when he visited Arlo van Diest's 1,300-acre farm and fertilizer and chemical operation in Webster City. As Nikonov examined the machinery that shreds, discs and plows under cornstalks, he told Van Diest: "We looked at the results of the labor of your family. We can say it's excellent."

--On the same weekend in which Chicago Symphony Orchestra music director Sir Georg Solti celebrated his 75th birthday and Chicago civic leaders unveiled a statue honoring the renowned conductor, a burglar stole a passport, jewelry and $400 in cash from his hotel room as he and his wife slept. Police Lt. Terry McCue described the theft as a "cat burglar-type incident" and said Lady Valerie Solti's empty pocketbook was recovered later in the back of a taxicab and turned over to police.

--New York Gov. Mario M. Cuomo's second daughter, Maria, was married in an interfaith ceremony to a Jewish shoe designer in the first wedding ever of a governor's daughter at the executive mansion in Albany. All members of the wedding party wore shoes designed by the groom, Kenneth Cole, 33, who is president of a New York City shoe company. The 25-year-old Catholic bride is president of a New York City special projects firm.

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