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GA English on Sunday : News in Brief from Bonn and the region

GA English on Sunday : News in Brief from Bonn and the region

Second round of elections taking place to elect Bonn’s mayor, new corona case at Münsterschule leads to 50 children in quarantine, the open-air swimming season draws to a close with fewer visitors than last year, and Astronomy on Tap in Bonn holds the first event of its third year - here is our news in brief on Sunday.

Second ever run-off elections for mayor in Bonn

BONN. On Sunday the people of Bonn will vote again on the future leader of their city. A run-off vote will decide whether Ashok Sridharan (CDU) remains in office, or whether Bundestag member Katja Dörner (Green Party) becomes the new Lord Mayor. This will be the second run-off election for mayor in the city’s history. Around 249 000 citizens aged 16 and over are entitled to vote. About 80,000 of these have applied for postal voting, which is the highest ever figure, according to the city of Bonn. German nationals as well as citizens from the 26 EU member states living in the constituency are entitled to vote in local elections.

The position of full-time mayor has been directly elected since 1994, when the NRW state parliament in Düsseldorf overturned the previous dual position of honorary (Lord) Mayor and (Senior) City Director as the administrative head of the town halls. However, the law only came into force after the 1994 local elections. This was the first time that a council majority of SPD and Greens had taken the helm in Bonn. Bärbel Dieckmann (SPD) was elected by this council as the new, initially still honorary mayor. Until then, the Christian Democrat Hans Daniels had held the office.

The new municipal regulations provided for the first direct election of a full-time mayor in 1999. Until then, a transitional arrangement had applied. Bärbel Dieckmann made use of this in 1995: the then Bonn City Director Dieter Dickmann had to leave and she also took over the town hall.

The first run-off election was held in Bonn in 1999: Dieckmann was challenged by Bonn's deputy CDU leader Helmut Stahl, among other candidates from the smaller parties. In the first round of voting he won a majority of 47.5 percent, Dieckmann 45.2 percent. In the second round, she was ahead of Stahl with about 3000 votes. At that time, the Greens supported Dieckmann.

In 2004 Dieckmann defeated her challenger Pia Heckes (CDU) in the first round of voting with 56.8 per cent. In 2007 the run-off vote requiring a simple majority had been abolished and her successor in office Jürgen Nimptsch (SPD) won in 2009 with 40.91 percent. In 2011 the run-off vote was reintroduced by the SPD-Green state government. Ashok Sridharan won the first round of the 2015 elections with almost 50.6 %. The CDU/FDP state government wanted to abolish the run-off election in 2019, but the NRW Constitutional Court ruled against it.

The polling stations are open from 8am to 6pm on Sunday, 27 September. There will be run-off elections in the Rhein-Sieg District as well in Bonn, with a second round being held in Eitorf, Bornheim, Hennef, Lohmar, Rheinbach, Wachtberg, Siegburg, and Troisdorf.

(Original text: Lisa Inhoffen)

Fifty children in quarantine following case at Münsterschule

BONN. A further person at a school in Bonn has tested positive for corona virus. The case was announced on Facebook and later confirmed by city spokeswoman Monika Hörig. She stated that the person in question is a member of the afternoon care team at the Münsterschule, which is an all-day primary school (OGS) on Maarflach street in the city centre. According to Hörig, the employee lives in the Rhein-Sieg District.

Bonn health authorities immediately sent 50 children from the OGS into quarantine for 14 days. In contrast to the information on social media, the children's families were informed and the children sent home immediately after the positive case was discovered, Hörig assured.

As of 25th September, there have been positive cases at four nurseries and 18 schools, including seven vocational colleges. Following a recent recommendation by the Robert Koch Institute on 9th September, the health authorities have now decided that the entire classes or nursery groups in which there are infected children, pupils or teachers must remain in quarantine for 14 days. It should be noted that these corona cases reported by the German Health Office are no longer all acute in schools.

(Original text: Lisa Inhoffen)

100,000 fewer people at open-air pools this year

BONN. As the open-air swimming season 2020 comes to end, the city has registered significantly fewer visitors. Since 21st May there have been around 360,000 visitors to Bonn pools, compared to 460,000 in 2019. The number of visitors has been restricted due to the corona pandemic.

About 31,000 people visited the open-air pool in Friesdorf, in 2019 there were almost 13,000 more. The pool has been closed since the end of August for construction of the air dome. 85,000 visitors cooled off this season in the Rüngsdorf panorama pool, which was 6,000 more than in the previous year. The Römerbad recorded around 88,000 visitors, compared with 100,000 the year before. 59,345 people visited the Melbbad before it closed on 13th August due to storm damage. The Hardtberg pool recorded 47,851 visitors, in 2019 it was 73,799. The Ennertbad also had fewer visitors than in the previous year: 47,629, and 80,542 in 2019. The pool did not open until 1st July due to renovation work.

The indoor swimming pools in Bonn will open from 28th September. The Sports and Pool Authority has developed a concept for hygiene and infection protection standards. More information (in German) can be found at: www.bonn.de/baeder

(Original text: Nicolas Ottersbach)

First event of third year for Bonn Astronomy on Tap

BONN. At 7pm on Tuesday 29th September, Sven Heydenreich and Dr. Thalia Traianou, who work at the Argelander Institute for Astronomy and the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, will be discussing the topics “Raketen - Einmal mit Profis arbeiten” (in German) and “Jets, Outflows and the Extreme Universe” (in English) at the Fiddlers Pub (Frongasse 9, Bonn Endenich).

The event is part of the worldwide initiative called Astronomy on Tap, where professional astronomers explain diverse topics about the universe in a relaxed atmosphere. The event is free of charge and open to all. Come and join your local astronomers for talks, quizzes and prizes. For more information see Facebook & YouTube (Astronomy on Tap Bonn), Instagram & Twitter (@aotbonn). You are encouraged to register beforehand by contacting Fiddler's Pub.

(Translations: Caroline Kusch)