Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on May 29, 1998 · Page 1
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 1

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Ukiah, California
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Friday, May 29, 1998
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Page 1
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Ukiah Daily _ 'ournal 'Hope' sinks • Page A-3 Today In Brief A-2 Lottery A-12 Classifieds .. .B-9 Obituaries . .A-12 Comics B-4 On the Mkt. Inside Crossword .. .8-7 On the Road .B-8 Daily Digest .A-12 Sports A-8 Features B-7 TV listings .. .B-7 Forum A-4 Weather A-12 Jumble B-9 ©1998, Donrey Media Group 36 pages, Volume 140 Number 41 50 cents tax Included Fri., May 29-Sat., May 30,1998 '$ LARGEST NEWSPAPER School officials call bilingual initiative 'simplistic, redundant' By GLENDA ANDERSON The Daily Journal Jose Torres worries that if Proposition 227 is approved by voters, his 8-year- old daughter won't be able to keep up with her classmates. "The little one will fall behind," he said through an interpreter. ; That could mean the end of the American dream for her and other non-Eng; lish speaking children, Torres said. It also would be bad for society, he ' said. "If kids fail grades, they will be pushed out and will join gangs," Torres said. His 17-year-old daughter, on the other hand, already has a good command of English and will continue to do well, Torres said, thanks to the variety of support programs currently available for children for whom English is a second language. Silicon Valley businessman Ron Unz, Proposition 227's author, claims bilingual education has failed. However, there are no studies to uphold his claims. In addition, the English-only immersion program Unz - who admits he's never been in a bilingual classroom - is proposing is already the most common way limited English proficiency students, or LEP students, are taught. Almost half of the state's 1.5 million LEP students already are in such classes, according to the non-partisan, non-profit EdSource. Unz wants LEP students to spend one year in English-only classes that are geared to their proficiency level. After that, they would be mainstreamed into regular classes, in what is often called a "sink-or-swim" style of teaching. Parents can apply for waivers to the rule. According to EdSource, one-third of LEP students currently are in English language classes Unz recommends for the first year and another 16 percent are in mainstream English-only classes. What Proposition 227 would do is remove the other options for teaching LEP students. One of those methods, used with reported success in some Ukiah area schools, is another type of "immersion" class for both English and Spanish speaking children. Part of the day, children in that program learn in Spanish, the other part in English. The idea is to give both English and Spanish speaking students a foot-up in a world in which being bilingual is an economic advantage. A more common method of teaching See BILINGUAL, Page A-12 WEATHER WATCH Storm sets record for century By DAN McKEE The Daily Journal ' t's official! As of 8 a.m. today, more rain has fallen on the city this year than any year since the Fire Department started keeping records. And that's a long time - 102 ... years to be exact. The Fire Department's Mark Clark told the Daily Journal the city's official rainfall stood at 72.01 inches this morning. The previous record was 70.19 for the 1982-83 season, also an El Nino year. More than 1.25 inches of rain pelted the valley overnight, according to officials at Ukiah Regional Airport, bringing the season total there to 62.82 inches. The difference between rainfall figures, Clark explained, is just a matter "of where we're sitting versus where they're sitting." Clark said the Fire Department supplies the official rainfall figures for the National Weather Service because the department is "in a central Ukiah location and we've only moved two blocks in the last 102 years." According to Clark, 1.2 inches of rain had fallen on central Ukiah since 6 p.m. Thursday. Redwood Valley also recorded ,1.2 inches of rain, raising the season total there to 73.27 inches. Philo was pelted by 1.5 inches of rain, while 1.44 inches fell on Fort Bragg. Coyote Dam reported a season total of 63.86 inches of rain. Harwood Products in Branscomb reported an incredible 107.47 inches of rain for the year, and that was before last night's rainfall. The wet weather is expected to continue through today, the National Weather Service said. Portions of Talmage remained blacked out this morning after a large oak split on property belonging to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas at about 4:45 a.m. and falling limbs . blocked Sanford Ranch Road. Two limbs, one measuring 16 inches in diameter, the other 14 inches, took out telephone and power lines when they came crashing down, said Bob Mayo of the Mendocino County Public Works Department. The road has been reopened. County Emergency Services Coordinator Rick Paige said the Russian River rose dramatically overnight as rain continued, but remains far below flood stage. Area "creeks are going back up," Paige said, but no major problems are anticipated. "We can expect more earth movements because the ground remains saturated," Paige said. He advised motorists to drive cautiously and be on the lookout for possible mud or rock slides. However, he added, "I don't foresee any dramatic losses of county roads. We're just wet." Three members of a Ukiah family suffered minor injuries at 1:45 p.m. Thursday when their 1982 Audi lost a wheel on rain- slick East Side Road some nine miles south of Talmage. Shanene Eaton, 27, was driving south at between 35 and 40 mph when the right rear wheel of her car came off as the vehicle was rounding a curve, state traffic officers report. The car crashed into an embankment and flipped over on its roof. . Also injured were 32-year-old Kenneth Eaton and 1-year- old Dakota Eaton McFarlane. All three were taken to Ukiah Valley Medical Center for treatment. Barbara Vasconcellos/The Dally Journal Sean McGee, a Fire Department engineer/emergency medical technician, measures the Ukiah Civic Center rain gauge. At 6 p.m. Thursday, Ukiah set a new rainfall record. Since then, another 1.2 inches of rain has fallen. As of 8 a.m. today, 72.01 inches of rain had soaked the city during the 1997-98 season. Officers said more serious injuries were prevented because everyone was wearing seat belts and the baby was secured in a car seat. A 27-year-old San Jose man escaped with minor injuries at 5:30 a.m. today when his 1998 White Freightliner left Highway 101 six miles north of the Mendocino-Sonoma County line and plunged over an embankment in the rain. Louis Allen apparently fell asleep at the wheel, state traffic officers said. The northbound truck edged off the east shoulder of the road, waking Allen, who overcorrected, sending the big rig weaving across the lanes. The truck struck a tree, then pitched over an embankment. Cleanup efforts are expected to continue throughout the day, Officer Bob Burke said. The truck may not actually be moved until Saturday. Allen was taken to Ukiah Valley Medical Center for treatment. The current storm, located just off the Northern California coast, is mov- See STORM, Page A-12 This large oak tree split on the grounds of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas early this morning, closing Sanford Ranch Road and leaving Talmage residents without power. Mendocino County crews worked to clear tree limbs and reopen the road while PG&E crews attempted to restore power. Dally Journal file photo Cathy Hessom's kindergarten class at Nokomis school learns Spanish versions of recognizable kindergarten words. Lake County struggles with pot grant, too Ukiah pot club eviction notice withdrawn By JENNIFER POOLE The Daily Journal In Lake County, the Board of Supervisors like the Mendocino board - voted 3-2 this year to accept the state marijuana eradication grant. But the Lake County board members, like a majority of the Mendocino County board, do have misgivings about the program. A May 26 letter from the Lake County board to each one of the county's state and federal representatives says the decision to OK the grant was made "with considerable doubt as to the effectiveness of the program." The letter continues: "It is the feeling of this board that the most serious problem in our county is the manufacture, sale and use of hard drugs (methamphetamine, etc.), and that the funds currently dedicated to the Marijuana Eradication Program would be much better spent in attempting to control these hard drugs." The letter concludes by asking Lake County's elected representatives to "seriously consider making those changes to current laws and regulations which would allow Lake County to use this grant money in a manner which would produce far more beneficial results, a decision that would be made with the advice and discussion with all units of our law enforcement system." All five board members voted to approve this letter. "This is the first time the board has written a letter like this," said Supervisor Carl Larson, who voted against accepting the grant. "Probably it will have very little effect, but we feel somewhat good about expressing our opinion," he said. "With no change from above, we might as well start making noises from down here." Larson said that, unlike in Mendocino County, "nobody shows up to any extent," when the board considers the marijuana grant. Nonetheless, he said, his colleagues are afraid of being tagged as "pro-drug" during their next election campaigns. "It bugs me," he said. "It's one of those things where if you could have a secret ballot, we'd get a 5-0 to reject it." "I'm too old to run again," he laughed. "I'm going to be 70 at the end of this term." In a more serious tone of voice, Larson said: "Not too many people approve of the result of drugs, but I totally disapprove of wasting money the way we do. "We have one deputy at least who's making better than $70,000 a year (with overtime due to marijuana eradication). "I don't care where the money comes from it's still all our taxpayer money, even if it comes from the state. "We need to change our laws," he continued, "take the profit out of it as much as possible, and recognize that you can't ban it, and do the best you can. "And at least tax the heck out of a lot of it, get some money for rehabilitation." Larson said he also had problems with the general philosophy of funding local government by grants. "It's just another instance where the state operates our county business by grant, with our property taxes that they took away from us. "They've told us exactly what to do with it, how to spend it, and if you need money for anything else, tough luck - regardless of the $4.4 billion surplus." See MARIJUANA, Page A-12

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