Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona on March 3, 1996 · Page 27
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Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona · Page 27

Phoenix, Arizona
Issue Date:
Sunday, March 3, 1996
Page 27
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THE ARIZONA KKPUUMC AMTRAK REPRIEVE Propmed plan lo end Phoenix wrvicc i delayed. IU. CLANCY A TROPIANO Ostar de U Kent wet iomc-Itung you don't tec. 1(8. VALLEY & fATl SUNDAY MARCH J. 1996 FJiinr, Sirvf Knkimextr 27I-X222 "J"""1"" ' '1 LjbLj La Labia LjbLiTbbbLabbblb LJ. MONTIM Republic Columnist 'Reefer' tax a license to grandstand If Richard Davis hud gone into a different business, one the state of Arizona didn't regulate, say, murder-for-hire, he wouldn't have needed a license. Killing is tax-free in our state. I'm aware that drawing attention to this may cause assassins in other parts of the country to rush here and set up shop. But it's true. A hit man or hit woman need not register with the state Department of Revenue. And that's not all. You don't need a license to rob banks. Or to ransack businesses. Or to terrorize neighborhoods. Or to extort money. Or even to spray-paint walls. There are plenty of tax-free opportunities available to the felonious entrepreneurs of Arizona. Just followed the rules The business Richard Davis decided to go into Joes require a license, however. So he got one. Davis scrupulously followed the rules and regulations set forth in Arizona for a person hoping to open an enterprise like his. He filled out the proper forms, paid the appropriate fees, contacted the necessary state agencies, conformed to the government requirements. Then he double-checked everything, opened his doors, made his first sales . . . and got arrested. Now he's wondering why. And so am I. '-Davis, like other businessmen, only t -nted to capitalize on the influx of visitors t ) the Phoenix area during Super Bowl week. He first contacted the state Department of Revenue, from which he purchased a license to sell his product. The license cost him $100. Then, the day before Super Bowl XXX, he drove his 1974 pickup truck to Tempe, Darked on Universitv Drive and announced that he was selling one-gram packages of marijuana, each amxed with a state tax stamp and a Super Bowl XXX commemorative logo, for $20 apiece. For this, he was busted by Tempe police. It didn't matter that on display in his truck was the "Cannabis and Controlled Substance Dealer's License" issued to Davis by the state of Arizona on Nov. 28, 1995. W. Michael Walz, Davis' attorney, says that by requiring his client to purchase a license to sell marijuana, then arresting him for doing so, the state is either committing fraud or double jeopardy. Or both. "The state sells these licenses for $100," Walz said. "If someone like Davis gets a license and complies with the tax code, then gets arrested, it means his license is worthless and the stamps are meaningless. That's fraud in the classic sense." Inconsistent enforcement Last year, a Justice Court judge in Phoenix threw out a marijuana-possession charge against a man who had a cannabis license. The judge ruled that prosecuting someone who goes through the license process is a form of double jeopardy. "This whole 'license' deal was only a way of trying to punish people twice," Walz said. "It's a political thing, a way for the state to go after assets. Well, I think it's going to come back and bite them. We're not talking about criminals, here, for the most part. We're talking about ordinary people who prefer a joint to a few beers." Davis is a 52-year-old biologist who has worked with groups trying to legalize marijuana for years. He's known for donating marijuana to cancer and glaucoma patients. To demonstrate the possible industrial uses of his product, Davis even transformed his truck into a "Traveling Hemp Museum." It was confiscated by Tempe police after his arrest. He's now suing to try to get it back. With criminal charges pending, Walz didn't think it was a good idea for his client to speak publicly. "I believe people will understand the problem with the government's logic," Walz told me. "Either something is illegal or it's legal. They shouldn't get to have it both ways." While, for the most part, I agree with the attorney's point, it's incorrect to suggest that a profession can't be criminal and legal at the same time. A precedent exists. Ambitious Americans have engaged in the business of legalized thievery for generations. It's called politics. Landfill search for body sought By Doug Snovar Staff writer Phoenix officials want' to huve part of a landfill dug up in search of the body of a missing 13-year-old boy believed slain and dumped in a trash container in November. Mayor Skip Rimsza and City Councilman Dave Sicbcrt will ask the City Council on Wednesday to authorize as much as $ 100,000 to pay Waste Management Inc., which operates the landfill in question, to dig in search of Brad Hansen's body, officials said. In memorial services Saturday for Hansen, a church official also called for city officials to search the landfill, saying more money often is spent on less-noble efforts. "All we ask is that the city try," said Bruce Richardson, a Mormon bishop who conducted the services in an Ahwatukee church. Hansen has been missing since Nov. 10 and is presumed dead. On Friday, another 13-year-old boy was returned to Phoenix from Las Vegas, where he was arrested Thursday. Jeremy Bach, a friend of Hansen, will appear before a Juvenile Division judge March 28 for a hearing on whether he will be tried as an adult in Hansen's presumed death. Bach appeared before Maricopa County Superior Court Commis- KJl Mesa bar9 eateries fight smokies ban Voters to clear air on issue Moni ReederStaff photographer Jeremy Bach, 13, arrives in Phoenix on Friday from Las Vegas. Police believe he killed Brad Hansen, a former classmate, following a dispute. sioner James Hustad on Saturday, according to Bill FitzGcrald, a spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office. Hustad ordered Bach held on one count of second-degree murder and scheduled a transfer hearing before Superior Court Judge Colin Campbell of the Juvenile Division. Maricopa County Attorney Richard Romley said Hansen's blood was found on a curbside garbage container Jan. 9 "and it's suspected that his remains may be in a landfill." Phil Gordon, Rimsza's chief of staff, noted that "there's no guarantee that we'll be able to find the body." "We're going on requests and best guesses," he said. "No one has said it's in the landfill." Deputy City Manager Jacque Avent said a search could take two to three weeks. More than 350 people, many of them Hansen's friends and fellow students at Centennial Middle School, attended the memorial services, eyes misting as Hansen's parents and friends fought back tears while recalling his life. He was described as an active, sports-minded, sometimes mischievous teen, who played hard enough to break his bones but insisted on bringing flowers to his grandmother. Rhonda Michie, Brad's mother, said her own mother counseled her See DUMP, page B4 By David Cannalla Staff writer On the wall next to the front dixr of CI Churro restaurant in Mesa hangs a drawing of a cigarette, smoke billowing from one end, and this warning: This restaurant has no non-smoking area. If you want to taste the tacos and burritos of this landmark, one of the oldest in Mesa, you may have to put up with smoke wafting from the next table. It may discourage some potential customers, but not Perry Hatfield, 58, a non-smoker. "The food's gcxxl," he said. "I wish it was non-smoking, but I can put up with it." Hatfield may get his wish. On March 26, Mesa voters w ill have the chance to decide whether their city will follow the lead of Flagstaff and other cities from New York to Los Angeles that have enacted strict no-smoking laws. Proposition 200 would ban smoking in all public places, including restaurants and bars. Alfred Muiioz, El Charro's owner, would have to put a circle with a slash through his cigarette sign. And no one would be allowed to smoke inside. Munoz said his restaurant isn't big .enough to offer two sections to divide the puffers from the non-smokers, and so far, he's sided with smokers. "I put the sign out so people can come in at their own risk," he said. "If they don't want to, they don't have to." Proponents of Proposition 200, however, say the measure, which would enact the toughest restrictions on smoking of any U.S. city, is for everyone's health. Put on the ballot by a group called Citizens for a Smoke Free Mesa, the initiative seeks to ban smoking in all public places. Smoking would be prohibited in all buildings, restaurants, bars, outdoor amphitheaters, ballparks and even lines outside movie theaters. Some have interpreted it as so strict that a foursome on a golf course would be considered a "public gathering," preventing any duffer from lighting up. "We know secondhand smoke is See MESA, page B5 Electric cars mix elbow grease, science At the APS Electrics, a racing series that uses electric vehicles, Klaus Johnson of the University of Idaho won in the Hybrid Division on Saturday. Scores of people from high schools and universities are participating in events. By Bob Golfen Staff writer . ii i minimi A '. i ' ' ' 1 ll i''iuu.)iiy.wWia.ttM,,,il,.J -aA-ik! '" 1?"'' "fc ''''J r ; "r v-sSL', i:;-4 , fp. 'R(tfF . v r The hood was off the race car from Arizona State University, and team members were elbow-deep in electronic circuitry. They were performing yet another arcane repair to their sleek electric racer, fixing one of the fans that draw cool air over the car's controller, an electronic system that transforms a battery pack and electric motor into a driveable system. "Controllers are very sensitive to temperature," student Robert Hujduk said, speaking a cross between shade-tree mechanics and aeronautics. "They will give out on you." AC motors, energy density, charging systems: Such was the talk Saturday at Firebird Raceway, where quiet race cars are competing in the APS Electrics, a three-day racing series to help promote and advance electric vehicles. The cars slip by with tiny whirring sounds, a stark contrast to the crushing roar of top-fuel dragsters that competed at the raceway just a week earlier. Scores of young people from high schools and universities are racing models they designed and built, many of them looking forward to when electric vehicles will be the norm, and to when brown clouds smothering today's cities will be part of the past. Many of them have no doubts that electric cars will ung designers place hopes for future on local competition T- a r jam -, a v l i m m Instead of the usual raceway roar, tiny whirring sounds were heard from competitors from such schools as Ohio State University during events. Photos by Bryan ChanStaff photographer be a major part of the future. "We have to have them, because they don't pollute the air," said Michelle Delgado, a ninth-grader at Carl Hayden High School. Delgado is a member of her school's racing team, for which science teacher Fredi Lajvardi has helped his students design, build and promote can since 1992. About 40 high-school teams from "as far away as Maine and British Columbia, are competing in several classes, including tiny, lightweight "Electrathon" cars and stock cars built from regular street vehicles converted to electric power. Basking in the warm weather, racers from Sir Winston Churchill High School in Vancouver, British Columbia, gathered around their smail, cigar-shaped vehicle, discussing how they designed and built the experimental machine themselves in six months. "We built it from scratch," said Matthew Berry, a senior and one of the drivers. "We did all the design, the technology, the welding, the charging system." Erika Judkins, 18, of Farmington, Maine, the only female driver in the Electrathon class, said racing electric cars requires a different kind of discipline than other kinds of racing. "You have to drive efficiently so you don't run down See 'tmS page B4 Any fair At the Arizona Renaissance Festival, fairgoer Karee Lansbery volunteered to be put in the stocks on Saturday so a pal could toss wet sponge balls at her. It didn't keep her from enjoying a leg of turkey. ; i .y.j Bryan ChanStaff photographer Cruel trick: Prescott man falls victim to own fire-breathing act By Abraham Kwok Staff writer He performs his magic tricks and fire-eating largely to connect with children, especially those with emotional and physical handicaps, for whom he has great affinity and affection. But Bill Wielgos also is devoted to his art, and he saved his most spectacular act to date for a show Wednesday at the Phoenician resort. It nearly cost him his life. In a performance that called for fire breathing, an act he recently perfected that entails spewing and then igniting mists of combustible liquid, Wielgos somehow caught fire and was transformed into a human torch, severly burning nearly half his body, authorities and his friends said. The 30-year-old Prescott man would have died had it not been for a resort worker who rushed Wielgos outdoors to a fountain and pushed him in, Phoenix fire officials said. Wielgos was taken to Maricopa Medical Center, where he remained in critical condition Saturday. Officials at the Phoenician refused to provide details of the incident, which occurred shortly after 7 p.m. Wednesday. Friends of Wielgos said they were told that he was asked by the resort to wear a See PRESCOTT, page B4

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