Reno Gazette-Journal from Reno, Nevada on September 13, 1994 · Page 9
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Reno Gazette-Journal from Reno, Nevada · Page 9

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Reno, Nevada
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Tuesday, September 13, 1994
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Page 9
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Reno Gazette-Journal METROWATCH 2B BUSINESS 4-6B MARKETS 4B N EVADA TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 13, 1994m PAT HARRISON, CITY EDITOR PHONE, 788-6397; FAX, 788-6458 M JON RALSTON So much for the power of anointment Embalmed only a week ago. Primary '94 deserves one more look before finally being laid to rest. A few brief eulogies before the coffin is lowered: The power of anointment, GOP division: The holy water sprinkled on Secretary of State Cheryl Lau by various Republican dignitaries had no potency. Now the Republican powcrs-that-bc must turn from their angel to the devil, a.k.a. Reno Assemblyman Jim Gibbons, a man they demonized as an interloper and opportunist but who overwhelmed Lau with his tenacity and relentless campaign. Only in politics can someone be transformed in the wink of an eye from Beelzebub to Zeus. GOP anointers, meet Jim Gibbons, the party's best hope to reside in the governor's mansion. The general election will feature the Gibbons buzz saw attempting to cut into a Scquoialike Gov. Bob Miller, who won not like Pyrrhus, but like Norman Schwarzkopf, with hardly a casualty in his 63 percent destruction of Las Vegas Mayor Jan Jones. One irony to watch: Miller wanted to face Lau, because his campaign saw her as weaker. Now the governor hopes to bludgeon Gibbons with his 300 percent pension increase votes, a measure Miller vetoed. But that would be as one-note a campaign as Gibbons running on his tax initiative. The irony here is that Miller's campaign manager, Gary Gray, downplayed the pension vote in 1 989, then saw it erase many of his assemblymen in 1990 when he directed the Democratic caucus. And now he may use it to undermine Gibbons. I wonder how Assembly and Senate candidates feel about the Freddie Krucgerof political issues returning for a sequel. The power of anointment, Democratic division: Ever the good solidcr, Democratic Party Chairman Richard "Tick" Scgcrblom continued to talk about the party's wonderful chances of defeating U.S. Rep. Barbara Vucanovich, even after former Sparks Mayor Jim Spoo departed the race. Don't worry, Segerblom crowed, I'm anointing Pat Gary as our nominee. Can you say whoops"? Clary finished third in a three-way Democratic primary, leaving Janet Greeson as the surprised nominee. Greeson runs treatment centers being investigated by the federal government, which was the subject of a gleeful if not gratuitous GOP news release Monday. For that, the GOP deserves a penalty for piling on. This race was over before Segerblom's attempted anointment. Now even the pretense is gone. The Hammargren knockout: Make all the jokes you want about strapping a portable heart monitor to the governor to check his health during the next four years. But the eccentric Lonnie Hammargren's smashing win in the GOP lieutenant governor's primary shocked almost everyone (yes, I blew this one, too.) :. In case you missed it, Regent Hammargren didn't win because he cleaned up in Clark County. Sure, he won in the south by about 2.5-to-l. But the Las Vegas neurosurgeon also won by nearly 2,000 votes in Washoe County en route to his 15,000-vote margin statewide. Don't count him out against the more restrained Bill Briare, the former Las Vegas mayor who may have trouble outside Clark County and whose fortunes arc inextricably linked to Miller's. I Endnotes: Don't ever underestimate the political clout of district judge and boxing referee Mills Lane, whose help for Dick Gammick against Cal Dunlap in the district attorney's race was tantamount to a pugilist getting pummcled in a fight but scoring a late-round knockout. Finally, this is shaping up as the Year of the Non-Woman as the primary saw the demise of Jones, Lau and secretary of state tontender Karen Korcheck. Only if Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa hangs on will a woman hold one of the state's constitutional offices. , Jon Ralston welcomes your comments and questions. Write to him at 282Ashby Ave., Las VegasNev. 89102. fcfflitv rolea m trooper WMit Q 11. Trial opens: Defense acknowledges Sonner shot victim but says he's innocent. By Steve Timko GAZETTE-JOURNAL LOVELOCK Michael Sonner shot and killed Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Carlos Borland Nov. 30, defense attorneys acknowledged Monday, the first day of his murder trial. Brent Kolvet, special Pershing County deputy district attorney, noted Sonner twice confessed to killing Borland to police and once to a newspaper reporter. Kolvet asked the jury to convict Sonner of murder, obstructing a police officer, possession of a stolen motor vehicle and being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm. But Sonner was abused as a child, suffered head injuries, sniffed glue and paint thinner, drank alcohol, smoked marijuana and took hallu-cinogenics, said Steven McGuire, chief state deputy public defender. That left Sonner mentally incapable of knowing what he was doing, McGuire said, so he should be found innocent by reason of insanity. The trial before Sixth Judicial District Court Judge Richard Wagner is estimated to last two weeks to a month. Witnesses testified a man driving a red sport utility vehicle left the Trinity truck stop at the intersection of Interstate 80 and U.S. 95 on Nov. 30 without paying for gas. That truck stop was about 22 miles west of Lovelock. Borland stopped Sonner, who escaped from a North Carolina jail Nov. 16, about a half hour later in a mi Sonner stolen red Chevrolet Blazer at the east edge of Lovelock. "We do not dispute that on Nov. 30 last year that Michael Sonner shot Carlos Borland," McGuire said. "The issue in this case is Mr. Son-ner's mental state on Nov. 30 of last year." McGuire described Sonner as a 26-year-old who heard and saw hallucinations. The defense will call a psychologist from San Francisco and one from Auburn, Calif., to testify Sonner did not know right from See TROOPER on page 3B United Way gears up for '94 fund drive 9- r f f 4 1. & il IV 9 VtfTvVKVi 1 I' ' ' -f's 4 . , .' v " -.'JJ. ' in. . L- . i 0f Snow flurries spark hopes for big winter But weather getting better: Storm system moving out tonight. By Mike Henderson GAZETTE-JOURNAL Snow flurries flew in the Sierra Monday and might agai n today. And though there wasn't much snow, ski interests viewed what little there was as a harb inger of a good winter. Some areas in the Sierra started receiving snow flurries before noon on Monday and others were reporting a light dusting by mid-afternoon. The National Weather Service was predicting snow overnight and this morning down to the 7,500-foot level in the Sierra. A less than 20 percent chance of showers was predicted for the Reno-Carson City area overnight and this afternoon. "It flurried today, definitely," said Mike Pierce, marketing director at Mount Rose ski area. "Not much stuck. We've got a little left on the roof. Some stuck to the hill, but it was nothing significant. It was flying." Snow stuck to the ground at Castle Peak, said Sheila Walsh at the Boreal ski area. "There is some of that white stuff on the ground," she said. "It sure is an encouraging sign for early fall and winter. It's only a dusting, but it's wonderful to see that out there." Lightning knocked out power to an undetermined number of customers at Don-ner Summit, Pacific Gas & Electric said. Power was restored within an hour. The lightning also brought reports of disrupted train service in the Sierra, because of problems in the signal system. The snow came as a cool, unstable low pressure area spread into western Nevada, the weather service said. The system is expected to weaken and move slowly eastward today, leaving clear skies in the Sierra and nearby Nevada valleys tonight. Today's Reno-area highs are expected to be in the high 60s to low 70s and low temperatures tonight are expected to be in the low to middle 30s. Wednesday's highs are expected to range from 73 to 78 degrees. SPARKS City Council boosts plan to use treated effluent on golf courses Tim DunnGazelle-Journal FOR THE GOOD OF KIDS: Sondra Vielma, 12, laughs as she balances a spinning plate during a magic show Monday at the Boys' and Girl's Club of Truckee Meadows. The show was part of the "Day of Caring" project developed by United Way. Employee volunteers from Harrah's Reno and John Ascuaga's Nugget threw a party and barbecue for more than 100 children. The United Way of Northern Nevada and the Sierra will host a campaign kickoff lunch Wednesday. Details: 322-8668. By Tim Anderson GAZETTE-JOURNAL With about two dozen people in the audience lending support, the Sparks City Council Monday unanimously endorsed a design contract amendment that cleared the way for treated effluent to be used on parks and golf courses. The long-discussed $8.2 million idea is viewed as a cost-efficient way to deal with the region's persistent drought and water delivery problems as well as to help improve quality of water in the Truckee River. "We're very excited about this project. It's been a long time coming and we'll find a way to get it done," said Ron Wrest, golf director for the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority. Those in the audience were equally enthused. "To many people I know, golf is vital to them physically and mentally," said retiree Joe Clark, an area resident for 40 years. He and others applauded loudly when the council gave its OK. See SPARKS on page 3B New group aims to halt hate crimes By Scott Thomson GAZETTE-JOURNAL A recent spate of hate crimes should be a wake-up call for residents of the Truckee Meadows who might think the area is immune from racism, gay-bashing or other acts of intolerance, leaders of a new civic organization say. "Pain and suffering knows no color, no sexual orientation," the Rev. Carey Anderson of the Bethel AME Church said at a news conference for the Community Coalition Against Hate and Violence. "These types of crimes are crimes that are learned by these people. You don't have to agree, but you can live together in dignity and respect." The group has scheduled a two-hour workshop Saturday at 1 p.m. at the University of Nevada, Reno, Jot Travis Student Union to discuss strategies to prevent more hate crimes in the future. Last Friday, three suspected white supremacists were arrested by Reno police in connection with a Placer County kidnap-beating of an acquaintance they accused of being gay. Lester Arthur, 22, Jason Gear 23, and Chris Green, 25, were arrested on seven felony counts with three enhancements, including hate crime. They are accused of threatening Thomas C. Lee, 32, of Reno with a shotgun, beating him with a baseball bat, stripping him of his clothing and tying him to a tree. It was the third gay-related attack on a Reno person in as many months. In July, William D. Metz, 36, of Reno was stabbed to death in a parking lot at Reno High School. Justin Suade Slotto, 21, of Reno has been charged with murder with a deadly weapon. In August, Walter Anton, 54, died from a heart attack after he was beaten with a pool cue by a man he met at Wingfield Park. Police were unable to apprehend a suspect, identified only as "Rick," a white man about 26 years old, 5 feet 8 inches tall with brown, collar-length hair. "Hate crimes in the Truckee Meadows have reached almost epidemic proportions," coalition member Bree Carlson said. Such attacks could be the tip of an iceberg of violence, coalition member Helen Jones said. Some people may be looking for scapegoats while facing perceived economic troubles or immigration fears, she said, adding that the acts of violence could grow if HATE CR ' ii IMES L I ' I . Si Jean Dixon AikinGazette-Journal NEWS CONFERENCE: The Rev. Carey Anderson, left, and Bree Carlson with the Community Coalition discuss workshop plans Monday. community members do not take "Any real change is not going to steps to prevent them. happen from state legislation being People will have to make the dif- passed," he said. "It's going to change ference, Anderson said. when we say enough is enough." State Republican chairman McKay says Democratic chief should drop Greeson CARSON CITY State Republican Party chairman Brian McKay said Monday his Democratic counterpart should repudiate Janet Greeson, the Democrats' U.S. House candidate whose businesses are under investigation. McKay said state Democratic Party Chairman Richard "Tick" Segerblom should drop Greeson and instead endorse the District 2 incumbent she's challenging, Rep. Barbara Vucanovich, R-Nev.. Segerblom said he'd be happy to oblige if McKay will "repudiate Vucanovich for bouncing checks in the House bank, taking junkets to the Bahamas and using taxpayers' money to become the biggest tipper in Congress." Asked to comment on recent news accounts about the federal investigation into a group of depression treatment centers Greeson founded, Segerblom said, "You can be under investigation and that doesn't really mean anything." "She really is a total outsider," he added of Greeson, who narrowly won the Democratic nomination in primary balloting last week. "I'm trying to learn more about her." McKay said it's one thing for Ms. Greeson to win a primary election, "but for the party establishment to give her its support in light of the questions which have been raised would be unconscionable." Segereblom said it might be different if Ms. Greeson or her businesses were under indictment, "but just the fact that she supposedly is under investigation doesn't mean a hell of a lot." Whistle-blowers Hot line Do you have a tip on government waste, abuse of power, bureaucratic snafus, official coverups or outright corruption? Give a brief description of the situation and the name of the agency involved. Be as specific as you can. Call 324-0225, then press 1490 when asked for the four-digit code. Please leave your answer, name and phone number. Or fax at 788-6458. Or write to: --""Ty Whistle-blowers Hot line, ZA Gazette-Journal City Desk, po-Box 2200. Ren0' Nv 89520 The Gazette-Journal will publish a selection of reports from the hotline and the responses from appropriate government officials. B Please turn to page 2C for a complete obituary listing and other news of record. , Kathleen S. McLoughlin Iveson, 45, Reno Velma O. Krehbiel Peters, 86, Carson City Ann Mary Wiendl Priest, 86, Reno Ruth Elizabeth Traub Renner, 86, Carson City Dean R. Rideout, 64, Santa Maria, Calif. H. Jackson Stephens, 8 1 , Reno Noble June Webber, 73, Reno Nevada: For current road and highway , . conditions east of the Truckee Meadows and in the Sierra Nevada, call the Nevada Department of Transportation's hot line. The line warns of i construction delays and roadway controls in effect. Call: 793-1313.

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