The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California on April 12, 1970 · Page 56
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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California · Page 56

Los Angeles, California
Issue Date:
Sunday, April 12, 1970
Page 56
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Coachella Riof Bewilders and Stuns Citizens Mayor, Police Chief Deny the Existence of Racial Tensions; Outsiders Blamed t'lfiMpr, 17, 190 1 Parents Asked to Join Teachers' Picket Lines But Head of LA. Strike Set Monday Urges Students to Attend Classes; No Talks Due BY RICHARD VASQUEZ Timet Stall Writer COACHELLA Violence possibly with racial overtones has come to this small desert town of 10,000. Its people, 8,000 of whom are Mexican-American, are troubled and bewildered. They read, see and hear accounts of last Sunday's events, written by dozens of newsmen from as far away as the East Coast, and they are puzzled. Last Sunday at a City Council-approved rally and dance, sponsored by the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee, violence flared. A crowd of several hundred kept Coa-rhella's 10-man police force at bay in the police station. One police car was overturned and burned to a shell, four policemen were injured, windows were broken. Mayor's House Burned Coachella Mayor Nick Abdelnour's house was set afire and severely damaged. That was Sunday. Monday night arsonists set fire to the house of a Coachella Anglo policeman. But according to Mayor Abdelnour and Police Chief Lester O'Neil, there is no racial tension here and the people, the residents, do not support the Cesar Chavez-led United Farm Workers Organization. Romualda Gradilla, a store clerk and resident of the town for more than a dozen years, said after the incident, "It was a terrible thing. I don't know how it happened. Maybe they (the rioters) were drinking or something." Henry Reyes, who heads the town's Chamber of Commerce and who has lived in Coachella 4S years, says: "Nothing like this has ever happened before, and I hope it never will again." Reyes thinks there may have been a few townspeople at the dance, but mostly it was out-of-towners. He is also puzzled as to what the riot means. "We just don't know what to think," he says. "But I do know this: our people are not unhappy with our police officers. But now they are afraid. They realize things like this can happen even here." The City Council has decided to ban rallies and group-sponsored activities in city facilities for the next six months. Approved Earlier Mayor Abdelnour, who is of Lebanese descent, considers himself perhaps typical of the two-way assimilation occurring in this rev-e r s e - integrated community. He lived much of his life either in Mexico or in border towns. He speaks Spanish fluently and consi ders himself "de la raza" of the Chicano people. The great majority of the Mexican-Americans w ho live here are not farm workers, Abdelnour points out. Thousands live in middle or upper middle-class homes. They own the businesses here, they run the offices and bring home high wages. He estimates the average income at $6,500 to 810,000 a year. He is convinced that if unrest "has come to this city it was brought here by outsiders, and that most of the people who live here so comfortably want little to do with the farm labor problems. Coachella's human relations-oriented Police Chief O'Neil also believes trouble was brought here. He points out that of the three arrested in Sunday's disturbance, two Ernest Calles and Carlos Bu-sade, both students at Riverside City College were wearing brown berets, the identifying cap worn by the militant Brown power organization of the same name. Please Turn to Page 29, Col. 1 Doctors Reveal Displeasure at New Medi-Cal Restrictions BY HARRY NELSON Timet Medical Writer The California Medical Assn. reacted Saturday to new Medi-Cal restrictions by challenging the state to reaffirm its intent to carry out the program as it was originally conceived. Tn a statement issued after a closed meeting here Friday night, the CMA council revealed in a restrained manner its displeasure with what it called "another set of restrictive regulations . . . alleging another Medi-Cal fiscal crisis." On March 31, the state announced that a deficit of $15 million to S20 million had been found in the SI bi 1 1 ion-a-y ear progra m. To 'make up for Ihc deficit, restrictions on all nonemergency hospital admissions will go into effect on Monday. Not only will doctors be required to get authorization from the state before admitting a patient to a hospital but the patient may not stay in the facility longer than eight days without further authorization. Soma of the CMA leaders suspect AMERICAN SYMBOL Two vases decorated with "The Spirit of '76" by A. M. Willard, who did the famous canvas, are displayed at the Celebrity Schmitz Striving for Moderate Image in Race for Utt's Seat John Birch Society Member Taking Number of Steps Designed to Win Wide Support in Republican Primary BY HOWARD SEELYE Timet Stall Writer John Schmitz, the only John Birch Society member holding state office in California is working diligently these days to modify his image. He now finds himself in an excellent position to move from the State Senate to the U.S. House of Representatives. And being an accomplished politician, Schmitz is fully aware that the path to higher office would be smoothed by a less conservative public image. While he denies that he has changed any of his views, Schmitz has made a series of deft moves that have served to switch emphasis on issues to show him in a different, more moderate light. His posture as an ultraconserva-tive is well established. As a state senator, Schmitz has taken a strong position against sex education in public schools and once suggested selling the University of California as a way of solving campus problems. He regularly introduces in Sacramento measures supporting the Liberty Amendment, which would require the federal government to get out of businesses which compete with private industry. The Liberty Amendment also calls for abolishing the income tux. Schmitz has consistently refused to vote for Gov. Reagan's annual budget because he is opposed to tax increases of any kind. In 196S he refused to support any candidate for President. that the state is trying to torpedo the program because it is costing too much money. The Medi-Cal program provides extensive medical services for about 2 million disadvantaged Californians. Originally the program was intended to get charity patients into "mainstream medicine" by providing the funds for them to go to private doctors and hospitals instead of charity clinics and charity hospitals. But some medical leaders believe the new restrictions will have the effect of driving patients out of mainstream medicine, with a consequent deterioration in quality of care. Many doctors threaten to leave Ihe program if restrictions become too irksome. The medical profession believes it is in a difficult spot when it tries to defend the idea of mainstream medicine because the idea can be construed an being self-serving-doctors being paid for cervices that rieas Turn to Pas 26, Col. 5 Now he is seeking election to fill the vacancy created by the death March 1 of Rep. James B. Utt (R-Calif.). If elected, he would be President Nixon's representative in the House. Mr. Nixon's legal residence is in San Clemente. Schmitz now finds himself the target of sniping by two Republican contenders in a campaign which promises to be bitterly contested. Since announcing his candidacy March 9, Schmitz, a 39-year-old resident of Tustin. has taken a number of actions designed to win support from moderates in a district where Republicans outnumber Democrats two to one: Meets Top Nixon Aide Schmitz met in Washington with top presidential aide Murray Chotiner, who said Schmitz assured him of his desire to cooperate with President Nixon and his program. Schmitz spelled out in a letter to Orange County Republican Chairman Thomas C. Rogers that he is running for office as a Republican and not as a member of any other organization including the John Birch Society. Schmitz told former GOP county chairman David L. James who said he had not spoken to the senator in three years that "moderation is coming with maturity" and that he (Schmitz) has learned a "willingness to compromise." Schmitz said in his first campaign statement March 18 that in his six years in Sacramento, "on most issues I have stood with the Republican Party and with Gov. Reagan." Schmitz told a reporter in a recent interview that "I am a Republican by conviction, not for convenience." He added that he fully supports Gov. Reagan's bid for reelection. Critics Vocal Despite Schmitz1 efforts to calm his critics, he has come under strong attack from William M. Wilcoxen, a 37-year-old Laguna Beach attorney, who is one of three Republicans seeking to head off Schmitz in the June 2 primary. Wilcoxen claims that Schmitz is a "Bircher masquerading as a Republican" and cites what he claims are numerous examples of how the senator has separated himself from the Republican Party. At a series of meeting last week, Wilcoxen lashed out at Schmitz in what a Schmitz aide called "one of the most vicious personal attacks on a John Birch Society member" he ever had seen. For his part, Schmitz appears a little surprised by the bitterness of Wilcoxen's challenge, but he is convinced that the strategy will boomerang. "I'm not going to answer nlm-T-I'm Pleat Turn to Pag 24, CbL 3 Centre by Frances Muncrief, left, and Sharon De-Lee, flanking Jim Diamond, owner of Bristol glass vases. Willard executed original painting in 1876. Times photo by Frank Q. Brown Students Admitted to 12 State College Academic Senates BY NOEL GREENWOOD Times Education Writer Twelve of the 18 California State Colleges have admitted students as full voting members of campus academic senates, and more may do so this year, a Times survey shows. The trend is in sharp contrast to the situation on University of California campuses, where a move last month to admit the first students to an academic senate was at least temporarily defeated. On state college campuses, the academic senates are the top deliberative bodies on all academic matters, including curriculum, campus development and academic planning. Traditionally, faculty members fill most senate seats with some seats allotted to top administrators. Cal State L.A. Joins The latest state college campus to admit students to its academic senate is Cal State L.A., where faculty members last week voted to seat five students on their 50-member senate. Other leaders, in terms of the proportion of representation given students, are Sonoma State, 1-1 student seats of a total of 33; Cal State Hayward, 7 of 43; San Jose State, 8 of 54; Cal State Long Beach, 5 of 59, and Humboldt State, 3 of 25. On these campuses, student representation in the senates has been a recent development, except at San Jose, which had three student seats for a year before expanding to eight last spring. Student representation is less on senates at six other campuses, where students have had senate membership for as long as four years. Please Turn to Page 25, Col. 1 3 DIDN'T BANK ON HER 6TH SENSE Lady Banker BY ROBERT KISTLER Timet staff Writer Betty Petree is just an assistant manager for the Southern California First National Bank in El Cajon. But if the three con men who tangled with her were stockholders, they would probably vote her in as president. The three who allegedly tried to bilk the bank cut of $6,400 the other day did not bank on her sixth sense. Police say their forgery scheme was imaginative, and timed down to the last split-minute except for Mrs. Petree. According toinvestigators, here is the way it was supposed to hava worked: BY HARRY BERNSTEIN Timet Leber Writer Parents of Los Angeles' nearly 650,000 school children were urged Saturday to join teachers on the picket lines Monday morning. There were no further bargaining talks planned before the scheduled mass strike of teachers. Robert Ransom, president of United Teachers of Los Angeles, asked students to stay off picket lines and report to classes. However, he said, he expects the students 1o be sent home quickly and the schools to be closed sometime during the day Monday because of the strike. Parents were asked by Ransom to "join us on the picket lines to show support for our campaign for better schools." The teachers' strike won the support of the Teamsters Union Saturday, and this could stop most deliveries by trucks to the schools. Ted Merrill, president of the Southern California Joint Council of Teamsters, pledged the full support of his union "to the teachers and to their goal of a better school system." He said deliveries would halt except in cases in which the health and safety of children would be jeopardized. Speaks Spanish The AFL-CIO County Federation of Labor also had approved the strike earlier, and teachers are hoping that the approximately 5,000 school maintenance employes will respect picket lines. A spokesman for AFL-CIO Service Employes Local 99, which represents the school maintenance workers, said: "We would like to. have had more advance notice of the teachers' strike plans, but it is a sanctioned'strike and we are asking our members not to cross the picket lines." In an interview Saturday on KNBC TV's News Conference, "Ram-son, who was a guest on the show along with Los Angeles Board of Education President Arthur F. Gardner, said the union expected one-day sympathy strikes to occur throughout the state. Gardner told the news panel the board will attempt to obtain an injunction against' the strike. Ram-som would not say whether the union would obey such an injunction. Parents in several communities reportedly were organizing teams of parent-pickets in preparation for the strike. LAS VEGAS STRIP GAMBLING CASINO FIRE KILLS ONE Exclusive to The Timet from a Staff Writer LAS VEGAS A ground floor fire in the multi-million dollar Stardust Hotel Saturday killed one fireman, injured 12 other persons and caused damages estimated in the "tens of thousands of dollars," a hotel spokesman said. The 2 p.m. blaze, which caused more smoke and water damage than fire damage, forced the evacuation of gamblers from the casino for an hour, many guests from the 1,500 rooms and all persons from the hotel shopping areas. But everything was back to "almost normal" just three hours after firemen arrived, a hotel spokesman said. The spokesman said the fire apparently started in a supply closet full of volatile cleaning materials. The hotel's administrative offices, about 100 rooms and . several shops and restaurants sustained damages. The dead fireman was identified as Capt. Frank E. Testa. He apparently died from smoke inhalation. The 12 injured some of them firemen-were not identified and the extent of their injuries was not known. Foils Tricky Forgery Plot Day One Two men walked into Quality Mobile Homes in El Cajon on the pretext of making a purchase. One man, on a variety of ruses, lured the owner or manager out of his office while the second man remained behind and stole as many unsigned checks as he could find. Day Two The same two men returned to the original company (in this case, the mobile homes firm). Again, the manager was drawn away from his office, leaving the second con man alone inside. At a predetermined time, a third man walked into the bank and attempted to cash the forged checks (those stolen the previous day from the company's office). If a question arose at the bank Ransom said the students would be violating truancy laws if they stayed away from classes, "and we feel that as soon as the majority of teachers strike on Monday the Board of Education will close down the schools anyway for the protection of the students." But parents, he said, "could help by walking with teachers on the picket lines and by not going in to try and take the jobs of the teachers or to 'fill in' for them in other duties." UTLA is distributing 300.000 copies of a leaflet headed, "Let's Open the School!" The leaflet then says, "But first let's make the schools worth reopening. Right now they're not." ' Then, in the leaflet addressed to the community at large, UTLA tells parents that "teachers are fighting your battle to win better schools and a decent future for every child." The leaflet urges the public to "tell the politicians to stop complaining about the problem and start doing something to solve it ..." School officials say they will get a court order against the strike and will make every effort to keep the schools open during the walkout. Acting Schools Supt. Robert Kelly said that "at the moment there appears virtually no possibility of extending the school year" to make up for time lost during the strike. He also said the offer to boost teacher salaries by 5 was "not as much as some would like but is all that we can possibly afford at this time." Please Turn to Page 24, Col. 1 Alioto Challenges Magazine to Take Charges to Jury BY DARYL LEMBKE Timet staff Writer SAN FRANCISCO Mayor Joseph L. Alioto challenged Look magazine Saturday to go to a grand jury if it has evidence of Mafia operations in San Francisco or the Bay Area. Giving a lengthy and occasionally angry deposition to Look's attorneys in his S12.5 million libel suit against the magazine for its article linking him with the Mafia, the mayor strongly implied that the secret Sicilian crime ring does not exist here. Asked by Look attorney Charles Kenady if he was aware that Angelo Marino, a co-owner of the California Cheese Co. of San Jose, has been listed by law enforcement agencies for some years as a Mafia member, Alioto replied: "Since the article appeared, not before and every law enforcement officer in San Francisco says there is no organized group of Italians in San Francisco engaged in narcotics, prostitution, labor racketeering or gambling. And this is what I understand the Mafia to be." Lawyer in Tax Case Alioto conceded that, as the Look article claimed, he had represented Angelo Marino in an income tax case which was dismissed because evidence had been obtained by illegal wiretapping. He said he also represented Marino's father, Salva-tore, in an unsuccessful attempt by the federal government to deport him. Look claimed Salvatore is also a longtime Mafia member. Asked by Kenady if he knew of the elder Marino's participation in Pennsylvania "rackets" before coming to California, Alioto said he believes Salvatore was "engaged in some kind of gambling, selling lottery tickets, in the '30s, and has nothing to do with that in California." Alioto again denied helping Jim-Please Turn to Page 29, Col. 1 about the validity of the checks, the con man left behind in the manager's office was on hand to tell the bank: "Why, yes, those checks are good." And, police said, that is what happened Friday. With only one hitch. Mrs. Petree wasn't satisfied with her first call to the mobile homes company, so she instructed her assistant to make a second verification call. As her co-worker dialed, the man who had presented the SG.400 check for cash fled. The second call to the trailer conv pany was answered by Sam Hoover, the firm's actual owner, who said: "Hell no, I don't have a check Ilka that." Float Turn to Paga , CI. 1

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