The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on February 9, 2004 · Page 19
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 19

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Monday, February 9, 2004
Page 19
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The Palm Beach Post B MONDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2004" n 7? tUf I i r Local philanthropist Dreyfoos named to Scripps board, 3B Nathaniel Brazill talks about faith in first interview from prison, 6B ipocial-mieeds siMeonfe get Duel p wot h mm Everyday learning tools are again being allowed in the test. By NtRVI SHAH Palm Beach Post Staff Writer For eighth-grader Matthew Brill, the special calculator he uses in math classes all year long is essential. ' Because it is a tool he uses every day, he will also be allowed to use it when he takes the math FCAT in March. "For a kid who uses some kind of assistive technology, taking away his calculator is the same as taking away someone else's pencil," said his mother, Karen Brill. Matthew Brill has been using a calculator since third grade because, while he understands mathematical func tions, he doesn't have the ability to calculate. "It's like covering up someone's eyes and saving, take the test," Karen Brill said. Thousands of students like Brill will be able to use stands to hold up books, colored plastic to make t words easier to distinguish on paper and straight edges to keep their writing on the lines while taking the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test over the next several weeks. Children with diabetes who might need frequent bathroom breaks can take the test in sections, and some test booklets are printed in type several times the size of other kids tests. "It cannot change the test," said Cherie Boone, a Palm Beach CouAty schools testing specialist. "It cannot give the child an unfair advantage. We're trying to level the playing field." For the second year, the state is allowing an array of accommoda tions for children with disabilities that are supposed to prevent chil-, dren from stumbling over the logistics of test taking. The stipulation is that the ac-. commodations must be tools students use in their everyday lessons. They go as far as having teachers write children's responses on some exams while students enunciate the caoitalization and punctuation. Last year, even with accommo See FCAT, 8B George Bennett Politics Democrats persistently push to get paper trail Since Palm Beach County switched to paperless electronic voting in 2002, the three local candidates who have complained the loudest about the system former Boca Raton Mayor Emll Danclu, former Wellington Councilman Ai Paglla and last month's state House District 91 special election runner-up Oliver Parker have been Republicans. All four Republicans on the county commission voted last week to buy ballot printers for the county's touchscreen voting machines as soon as they are available. But as a political cause to fire up partisans, the paper trail remains almost exclusively a Democratic issue. The crowd of about 40 paperistas outside Friday's court hearing on Democratic US. Rep. Robert Wexler's voting machine lawsuit looked a lot like the previous night's county Democratic Executive Committee meeting. Both events included county Democratic Chairwoman Carol Ann Loehndorf , party Treasurer Scott Brit-an, some people in Howard Dean T-shirts and Democratic activists such as clerk of courts candidate Larry Wlnawer and longshot congressional hopeful Jeffrey Fisher. There were no conspicuous Republicans among the touch-screen trashers. County GOP Chairman Sid Dlner-steln calls the paper trail a "phony issue" that's really about "Bush-. bashing and hating" and sustaining anger from the 2000 election. "If President Bush said tomorrow we ought to have printers on these voting machines, they wouldn't want them anymore." County Commissioner Burt Aaron-son attended a recent powwow of supporters of a countywide strong mayor, leading some in the room to conclude he was on their side. Not necessarily, Aaronson declared at Thursday's Voters Coalition meeting after strong-mayor supporter Harold Ostrow referred to Aaronson as an ally. After more than 11 years as a commissioner, Aaronson says he isn't sure whether the county's current form of government works or needs an elected executive. "I'm undecided," Aaronson stated. "I am not opposed to it. Nor am I endorsing it I'm still listening to the voice of the people on it" Octogenarian sheriff candidate Abe Zlskls put in a rare campaign appearance at the Voters Coalition confab. "I'm going to be 86 years old May 24. I'm the oldest man that's running for sheriff in the United States and I think I can do a hell of a job. I'm full of vigor," Ziskis said. "I know how to handle people and I know the things we need for us seniors." Ziskis lived in the vote-rich retirement community of Kings Point west of Delray Beach before moving recently to another senior vote trove, Century Village of Boca Raton. State Sen. Ken Prultt, R-Port St Lucie, raised eyebrows when the po- litical committee he chairs, Floridi-ans for a Brighter Future, contributed $500 to the reelection campaign of state Rep. Shelley Vana, D-West Palm Beach. Republicans view Vana as one of the state's most vulnerable v Democratic incumbents this year. After learning of the Vana contribution, Republican candidate Andy Edwards professed his support for the state's Bright Futures scholarship program and also received a $500 check from Pruitt's committee. Pruitt says hell endorse whoever wins the Republican nomination to run against Vana. i Ashes of father and friend cast upon waters -J .J 3-' r7, tiki? A . It hi i Ralph Boalt's family members (from left) daughter Caden, sons John and Charlie, wife Lisa and son Gunner watch as a rose is tossed into the water after half GREG LOVETTStaff Photograpter of his ashes were poured into the Lake Worth Inlet Sunday. The other half will go into another body of water he loved, the Mississippi River. He put tall in tales, friends recall By KIMBERLY MILLER Palm Beach Post Staff Writer ' RIVIERA BEACH There was this guy from Minnesota who lived for the water. Whether it was the muddy Mississippi or the aqua Atlantic, Ralph Boalt didn t care as long as he could f ,v I be out there on it. I He flew to . 'i South Florida about 30 years ago, following the migrating geese, his friends say. He liked to tell stories. He made a lot of friends. On Sunday, about 60 of them, along with Boalt's family, climbed aboard 16 boats at the Sailfish Marina on Singer Island 'He was a character. He lived life to the fullest.' PEG JUCKETT, Ralph Boalt's sister vK. Boalt to say goodbye. Boalt, 55, died last month after a stroke left him in a coma. His ashes will be cast in the waters he loved: half in the Atlantic Sunday, the rest later in the Mississippi. It was the tale-telling that friends remember most about Boalt. "If the wind was blowing 5 knots, Ralph would say it was blowing 25 knots," said Anthony Cerrito, Boalt's co-worker at Boathouse Discount Superstore in Riviera Beach. "He could relate to anyone." Boalt grew up on the Mississippi in Minnesota. His sis ter, Peg Juckett, remembers him as a master water skier whose teaching technique included leaving her in the water when she took a spill. He'd eventually come back, but Juckett said she learned to fall near the shore where she could swim to dry land. "He would call us up at 1 a.m. just to chat," Juckett said. "He was a character. He lived life to the fullest." Boalt regaled friends with tales from days when he raced boats in the open ocean. There were two speeds on his vessel: off and full throttle, they said. And then there was the story about a recent airplane trip on which the man in front of Boalt was getting antsy and making people nervous with his spastic motions and outbursts. Boalt told friend Jeff Gross that, to save the day, Boalt had to wrestle the guy into his seat, earning him the great adulation of passengers and crew. No one is sure whether that one is embellished or totally made up. But friends and family know the important stories, the ones about a loving dad and good friend, are true. "He has left us with so many great experiences, I can't tell you," said Gunner Boalt, one of Boalt's five children" and the oldest at 19. "He was an awesome, awesome father." i v- UMA SANGHVIStaff Ptiotographer Early Valentine's Day treat RIVIERA BEACH Veronica Prisco Oeft), 10, and Ashley Owens, 10, from F.K. Sweet Elementary in Fort Pierce, listen to World War II veteran Howard Droddy Jr. tell stories in a visit to the veterans hospital Sunday. Sleuths go to great wavelengths to catch rogue radio stations By ELIOT KLEINBERG Palm Beach Post Staff Writer Pirate radio stations, beware: You are being watched. Legitimate stations plagued by the outlaw transmitters that fuzz up their signals complain regularly that the Federal Communications Commission has neither the staff nor a streamlined process to shut down the dozens of pirate stations scattered across South Florida. Some stations send out their engineers with special equipment to pinpoint stations. They're getting help. Ham radio operators, computer programmers, broadcasting consultants and engineers, and other citizen sleuths also fed up with the pirates' interference are tracking down the outlaws themselves. Pirate stations operate with no fed-See PIRATES, 8B Lawyer in st Palm faces firearm charge in road-rage incident Police say Christopher Chopin threatened tnotorists with a gun. By TANYA WRAGG Palm Beach Post Staff Writer WEST PALM BEACH A 27-year-old lawyer was arrested after a midmorning road-rage incident in which he allegedly threatened the occupants of a pickup with a loaded handgun. Christopher Chopin, who practices family law with his mother, was charged with aggravated assault with a firearm. He was released Sunday after posting $ 100,000 bond. The episode occurred at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the intersection of Okeechobee Boulevard and South Dixie t Highway, according to police reports. Chopin, driving a 1996 Mercedes SL320, beeped his horn and shouted angrily at Francisco Rodriguez, who was driving a pickup when he stopped for a red light. Chopin pulled beside the pickup and seemed to be picking a fight, said Fernando Alvarez, a passenger in Rodriguez's truck. "He said, 'Get out of the car you old man!' " Alvarez said in an intyview. I'M IWll II. Chopin Alvarez said Chopin then pulled a .45 caliber pistol and loaded a bullet in the chamber before pointing it at the truck. "Ill shoot your (expletive)," he allegedly told them before he sped off. Unknown to Chopin, Alvarez is ' a sheriffs deputy with 33 years of experience. Alvarez immediately called West Palm Beach police with a full description of Chopin and his car. "I can't understand why he would have done something like this," Alvarez said Sunday. "Pulling a gun is uncalled for. He made the wrone choice." Police arrested Chopin minutes later at 7430 S. Dixie Highway, the address of a Blockbuster Video store. At a bond hearing Sunday Circuit Judge Mary Lupo told Chopin he could go to prison for three years if convicted From the bench, she said was "shocked" by the incident and noted she was a friend of Chopin's family. . Chopin, clad in blue jaiP house fatigues, kept his head See ROAD RAGE.4B

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