Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on November 21, 1978 · Page 1
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 1

Ukiah, California
Issue Date:
Tuesday, November 21, 1978
Page 1
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118th Year No. 185 Ukioh Dailq Journal Ukiah, Mendocino County, California Tuesday, November 21, 1978 16 Pages—1 Section—15 Cents Did Jones trick followers into drinking poison? GEORGETOWN, Guyana tUPI) - Steven Jones, 19, said today he believed his father the Rev. Jim Jones had tricked the fanatical members of his Peoples Temple cult into mass suicide by telling them itwas only a "drill" when he offered them a mixture of grape-flavored Kool-Aid laced with cyanide. Guyanese police and army troops said they had found the bodies of 409 men, women and Children sprawled through the Jonestown jungle Commune where they had died alongside each other in a scene straight out of hell. Even their pet cats and dogs were dead. Police said they had found 36 survivors in the surrounding jungle and in Georgetown as well as Jonestown and that they were still searching for some 600 members who disappeared into the bush. It was not known whether they were dead or alive. Steve, a lanky, clean-cut basketball player, said his father, a one-time city housing official San Francisco, had not been well lately and had been taking drugs that had turned him into a paranoic. He said he did not know what kind of drugs his father was taking. "I hated him," Steven told newsmen in Georgetown. "He became a Fascist ... he destroyed everything that we lived and worked from the desk By Jim Garner From the jungles of Guyana a story that no one yet truly believes. Jim Jones, self-proclaimed "Prophet of God," led 383 of his People's Temple followers into a mass suicide. Whether Jones committed suicide or was killed by others is not known. Many of the dead are from northern California; some are from the Ukiah area. Although reports are still sketchy, it is increasingly apparent that all this tale of horror wasn't written over the past weekend. Unfortunately it required the deaths of five people, including three journalists, to get the story out into the light of day. Jones, who apparently was no longer the sincere, dedicated, young pastor of the late 1960s, was safe doing whatever the hell he was doing as long as the outside world didn't know. But when newsmen visited Jonestown and found all was not well in Paradise, the slaughter began. Much of this grisly tale had its roots in Redwood Valley where Jones moved his temple from Indiana in 1965. Ex-followers, who left the temple when Jones moved it to San Francisco in 1971, contend the leader was showing signs of severe paranoia in ti\e 1960s. But, hiding behind the shield of Christianity, Jones was able to continue the charade and to lure more of the unsuspecting into the fold. It worked until Rep. Leo Ryan chose to make a first-hand inspection of Jonestown in the company of the working press. There are young people in America today who find it totally unbelievable that Adolph Hitler was able to lead a nation to utter destruction with a philosophy that defies description. Maybe the past weekend will help them understand how Hitler did it. Weather RAIN Nov., 1978 Date Hi Lo 20 38 43 11 a.m. Today 50 Rainfall 3.33 Northwestern California Nov., 1977 Date Hi Lo 20 48 26 Low Today 42 Last Year 5. 13 Rain likely today with a chance of showers tonight. Mostly sunny Wednesday. Slightly colder. Snow level 3,000 to 4,000 ft. tonight. Fort Bragg 40 and 55, Ukiah 35 and 58. Extended forecast Thursday through Saturday: Rain likely spreading over area Thursday and Thursday night Showers likely Friday. Partly cloudy Saturday with chance of showers. Continued cool. Highs in the 50s. Lows in the 30s except the 40s in cloudy areas. for. He has discredited socialism." Steve Jones said his father's followers had most likely been tricked into suicide thinking it was a "drill." He confirmed reports of "white night" suicide drills in which simulated poison was drunk by the sect members as proof of loyalty and bravery. A US team aided by Guyanese authorities and some survivors were trying today to identify the victims. They said all of the victims were Americans from California with the exception of seven Guyanese adopted children. Most of them took poison in the suicide rite. A few were shot dead by fanatics at the Jonestown commune, 150 miles northwest of Georgetown. The cult leader was found shot in the right temple but it was not clear whether his death was murder or suicide. In addition to the victims at the commune, police said a woman in Georgetown in radio contact with the commune slit the throats of her three children and then her own to fulfill her part of the mass suicide pact. The mass suicide started at sundown Saturday after cult members massacred Rep. Leo J. Ryan, D-Calif., and four other Americans on a fact-finding tour of the commune to check reports some of the inmates were held in slavery conditions against their will. A pool report from Port Kaltuma, a few miles from the camp, quoted survivor Odell Rhodes as saying the suicide rite began with the babies and that others drank the deadly potion served by a Jonestown doctor, Lawrence Schact, and by nurses. (In Houston the shocked family of the doctor declined comment on reports Schact helped administer the poison.) Rhodes said mothers would give the cyanide to their own children before taking it themselves. Rhodes said the ritual began quietly enough with cult members stepping forward willingly to drink the deadly mixture. But others tried to flee and were turned back by armed guards who ringed the central pavilion where the rite was taking place. Shortly after the mass killing began "it just got all out of order," Rhodes said. "Babies were screaming, children were screaming and there was mass confusion." He said it took about five minutes for the liquid to kill. During that time, Rhodes said, young and old, black and white, grouped themselves, usually near other family members, often with their arms around each other, waiting for the cyanide to strike. Ukiahans [fates still unclear Grace Stoen, wife of former Mendocino County District Attorney Tim Stoen, said Monday she had no confirmation of her six-year-old son's death in the mass suicide-killing at Jonestown. The boy, who was the subject of a custody battle between theStoens and Jim Jones, pastor of the People's Temple, was at the remote agricultural commune with Jones. According to United Press International, a report from Guyana Indicated a sevten-year-old boy, John S. Stowen, had been found dead at the camp. "I haven'tgotten any word about my son yet," Mrs. Stoen told UPI. The Stoens had left the boy in the custody of Jones, and the child was reportedly being cared for by Maria Katsaris, 24-year-old daughter of Steven Katsaris, director of Ukiah's Trinity School. Unconfirmed reports list both John-John Stoen Co.'s relief program target of lawsuit The Ukiah office of Redwood Legal Assistance has filed suit against Mendocino County, asking that the county's administration of its General Relief program, which supports indigent residents of the county, violates federal and state law, as well as the United States and California Constitutions. The suit asks that the county be ordered to take immediate action to bring the program into compliance with the law. The complaint, filed in Superior Court Monday, alleges that the county, in its operation of the state-mandated program, "fails to adequately provide for its most indigent and destitute residents." The General Relief program is administered entirely by the county and is the only public assistance program that is funded in its entirety by county property taxes. State law requires each county to "relieve and support all in- compent, poor and indigent persons and those incapacitated by age, disease, or accident...," who are not supported by other means. To carry out this mandate, the board of supervisors of each county is required to adopt standards of aid and care for its indigent residents. The county currently provides a maximum amount of $148 per month to indigent residents, although many residents receive less. General Relief recipients never receive cash. and Maria Katsaris among the 405 persons found dead at Jonestown Meanwhile, Anthony Katsaris, wounded last Saturday in the ambush at an airstrip near the commune, is in stable condition at a Puerto Rico hospital today. He was shot through the arm and chest. Katsaris is at the hospital with his son. The State Department yesterday confirmed that Patricia Parks, formerly of Ukiah, was the woman killed along with Cong, l^eo Ryan and three newsmen in the ambush. Initial reports listed Mrs. Parks' age as 18, which led to speculation the victim may have been her daughter, Brenda. The Parks family, including Gerald and Patricia, 44, son Dale and daughter-in-law Joyce, and two teenage daughters, left Ukiah for Guyana earlier this year. The fate of the rest of the family is not known. LIGHTING THE WAY — With darkness covering the Ukiah Valley earlier as winter draws near, every bit of light helps in the late afternoon. With a tree stripped of its summer coat as a background the lamp above sheds some light on a darkened sidewalk. — Journal photo by Kalkman. LAFCO approves Las Casas annexation By MITCHELL LANDSBERG Journal Staff Writer The Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) opened the door to annexation of the Vineyard View-Las Casas area by the City of Ukiah yesterday. But the commission threw a curve to the city when it said that the Millview Water District will provide water service to the two proposed developments. The approval by LAFCO leaves the final decision on the 137-acre area up to the city. The city council will have to determine whether the two developments should be built within the city limits or not Annexation of Vineyard View and Las Casas could ultimately raise the city population by nearly 20 percent The decision by LAFCO to require service by Millview in the area complicates the situation for the city. City officials have consistently maintained that Millview's service is not as good as municipal water service. Encroachment by the district into municipal territory would endanger the city fire department's high rating, they have said. But Millview representatives told LAFCO yesterday that the district has plans for improving its system. Millview will be able to provide service to the subdivisions that will equal the city's, they said. According to Millview attorney Jared Carter, the district has plans for a new storage tank, new pumping plants and additional wells. He told the commission that the district has hired an engineer, George Rau, to prepare a master plan for upgrading water service. Rau told the Journal today that he will have a preliminary study ready in six weeks that should outline Millview's capabilities and needs. He said he felt the district was probably capable of improving service so that it meets city standards. However, he said it would take "substantial additional work." Rau said a new tank is being planned at the York Ranch with a probable capacity of about 300,000 to 500,000 gallons. The district's present overall capacity is around 450,000 gallons. Kennedy will prepare Las Casas EIR; nixes professional economic study Developer Bobby Kennedy says he has already hired a consultant to prepare an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on his Las Casas subdivision north of town, but as for hiring an economist to study the development: "No way." Kennedy told the Journal last week that he hired local consultant Richard Avey, former Ukiah planning director, to prepare an EIR shortly after he was asked to do the study by the city planning commission. Local activist Ted Feibusch has charged that Kennedy later told the city council he would not do the study. Kennedy said he told the council he would not have offered to prepare the EIR had he known that the city had previously studied the Las Casas area in an EIR for its General Plan. And he said that he had already hired Avey by the time he addressed the council. But Kennedy said he had no intention of hiring a professional economist to prepare an economic report on the subdivision, as was requested by Feibusch. "I'll do the normal economic analysis," Kennedy said, adding that he would not hire a professional economist "just because Ted Feibusch wants one." Kennedy disputed the claims of Feibusch and Planning Commissioners Dan Hamburg and Ted Eriksen that the commission had ordered him to hire an economist. Feibusch and the two commissioners have claimed that commission secretary Jean Kingsley failed to include the "economist" clause in the minutes of the meeting. Said Kennedy, "The girl's records weren't wrong." Feibusch yesterday reiterated his claims regarding the minutes, and asked, "What is so much trouble about making a professional economic study?" The matter will be brought up at the planning commission's next meeting, Dec. 13. AG sues Co. for inadequate General Plan A moratorium on county land development could be the consequence of a lawsuit filed late yesterday afternoon by the state attorney general's office against Mendocino County. A verdict in the state's favor could freeze any further action on county subdivision and rezoning requests until a revised county General Plan could be adopted, advised Zan Henson, deputy attorney general. At the same time, a finding for the state could block already approved subdivision plans for the controversial 6,000 acre Eden Valley development, northeast of Willits, added Henson. The suit, which alleges that the county's General Plan is inadequate and does not meet mandates of state law, is the second such suit filed against the county within three days. A group of Willits residents, represented by attorney Burgess Williams, filed suit in Mendocino County Superior Court Nov. 17. They contend the Eden Valley subdivision, which was approved last May, was illegally approved since it was passed before the county had adopted an adequate General Plan. The petitioners further claim the general plan is deficient in areas of housing, land use, open space, and noise. Henson said the Willits residents might drop their suit now that the state has filed its suit. But Williams said residents would not drop their suit since the suits would probably "augment and complement each other." The county was informed by the state attorney general's office last spring that its General Plan was inadequate and must be revised. Negotiations in San Francisco between state Attorney General Evelle Younger, and county Supervisors Al Barbero and John Cimolino, along with John Drummond, county attorney, resulted in an agreement giving the county until Jan. l, 1979 to amend its General Plan At the same time, the state attorney general's office suggested the county postpone approval of any large subdivisions. If any subdivision were approved, the state said it would maintain the right to review them on a case-by-case basis. Henson said that right of review would include the Eden Valley subdivision. On May 22, the board of supervisors approved the Eden Valley subdivision. "If the county got its house in order some time ago, this could have been avoided," claimed Henson. Drummond would make no comment on the part of the county. He said he would "prefer to try the case in court." The county will be considering today a bid from the Sacramento-based firm of Giness & Associates for $32,000 to serve as consultants on the General Plan. The state's suit is scheduled to be heard in Mendocino County Superior Court on Dec. 1 by Judge Arthur Broaddus.

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