Daily Press from Newport News, Virginia on January 13, 1993 · Page 5
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Daily Press from Newport News, Virginia · Page 5

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Newport News, Virginia
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Wednesday, January 13, 1993
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sr mo OnSooth of the James B Homophobia fails to grip military area A psychologist I know claims you can get 10 percent of people to agree with anything. If that's true, think how the organizers of a campaign to keep homosexuals out of the military must feel. Ten days ago they test-marketed homophobia in Hampton Roads with a clip-and-mail coupon in a newspaper advertisement. To date, they have barely heard a peep. The ad has generated several hundred letters and phone calls to the Family Research Council, a right-wing Washington think tank that paid for the ad, said council President Gary Bauer. However, a spokeswoman at Bill Clinton's Presidential Transition Office in Little Rock, Ark., had heard nothing about coupons that supporters of the ban were supposed to mail to the presidentelect. "We get a lot of mail," she said. "But I checked with the mail room, and they don't remember anything like that." This paltry response compares with statistics that show Hampton Roads with 135,000 active duty military men and women and another 300,000 military family members, retirees and reservists. Despite their statistically inaudible response, Bauer says his group will keep trying to convince Clinton to renege on a campaign promise to lift the ban on homosexuals in the military. "We've been getting a fairly steady round of phone calls from around the country, most from active-duty personnel," Bauer said. "They have strong and deeply held feelings on this issue." The research council's Hampton Roads correspondents said they would leave military service early if homosexuals aren't kept out, Bauer said. "They said the American military stands for traditional values," Bauer explained. "They said lifting the ban on homosexuals will undermine the Judeo-Christian ethic. "They used the analogy that the Defense Department would never consider letting men and women shower together. Yet if this policy on homosexuals in the military changes, heterosexual men and women will be put in a position where they will be showering with people who might be sexually attracted to them." That strong and deeply held feeling reflects the real problem: Some people's insecurity about their own sexuality. Taking a meaningless question off an application will not turn the United States military into a corps of cross-dressers. With its constant transfers and overseas assignments, the military keeps families from being anything but "traditional." And I can't remember where in the Bible it says, "Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out." As for the shower analogy, if you applied that reasoning to all of military life, heterosexual men and women shouldn't work around each other nor sit near one another at the officers' club. Sexual harassment is a problem, but it must be dealt with whether it is man-to-woman, man-to-man, woman-to-woman or woman-to-man. There is only one issue here, and that is whether asking people their sexual preference and excluding them from service if they answer a certain way creates a better fighting force for this country. The response to the Family Research Council's ad shows me that lots of folks don't believe that. Or, at the very least, they just don't care. Either way, Bauer and company are in a pickle. They wanted to use a widespread, angry reaction from Hampton Roads to launch a national campaign against homosexuals in the military. Now, they're not sure whether to buy more regional ads or to buy ads in national publications. "Obviously, if thousands of letters had come in, it would be easy to answer," Bauer said. I have an easier answer: Save your money. Christmas Fund The Christmas Fund campaign is sponsored by the Daily Press to provide toys and food to the needy. Please send or bring your contributions to the nearest Daily Press Inc. office or mail them to: Christmas Fund P.O. Box 746 Newport News, Va. 23607 So every child will be remembered 0 Crocker Uncertain date foils prosecutor By Lasll Postal Daily Press ISLE OF WIGHT Wallace R. Crocker Sr.'s second trial on child molestation charges was suspended Tuesday after authorities said they could not prove the alleged offense occurred after Virginia's aggravated sexual battery law was put on the books. Commonwealth's Attorney W. Students question date-rape program I .,f I,, ; -n T mm Lm-m ' r""'",'' l t yipgigMPiii 'j " " Jj"tta'ra' li")lMfW'"i'w-" mm ' ""-'l1-g-rg3t ' i"- iT ' -: T" t-tTr-' x i J " . On s r tV. !' ' Tina Devine watches the HBO show with, Koestner story has friends and foes By Matt Smith Daily Press WILLIAMSBURG If HBO wanted to help families discuss the issue of date rape, it should have chosen a story less controversial than "No Visible Bruises: The Katie Koestner Story," said some College of William and Mary stu Spinoff firms Report shows statewide explosion in 'affiliates' By Mark Davidson Daily Press NEWPORT NEWS The Peninsula's largest hospital system earned millions of dollars in the last fiscal year from a variety of spinoff businesses everything from a fitness center to a laundry service. Like other hospital groups across the state, Riverside Health System has gone well beyond providing beds for the sick, according to a new state report. It is investing more and more money in other ventures that offer new services and, in most cases, make money. NN plan would give problem kids 2nd chance By David Lerman Daily Press RICHMOND Public school students who get caught with guns or drugs or fight other children normally get suspended or expelled from school. But state legislators said Tuesday it might be time to give at least some violent kids a second chance. One day before the General Assembly convenes for a 46-day session, a special subcommittee on crime in schools heaped praise on a Newport News plan that would give troubled middle-school students an alternative-education. v The plan, as drafted by Newpott News school officials, would take mid- r.' 2nd trial suspended Parker Councill said he was considering pursuing a different charge against the 67-year-old retired shipyard worker, one based on a law that was in effect at the time. Crocker, already convicted of molesting another child, faced a charge of aggravated sexually battery for allegedly molesting a girl sometime in 1979, 1980 or 1981, when the youngster was 1 1, 12, or 13. She is now 22. Crocker had pleaded not guilty to the charge. Aggravated sexual battery is a felony that involves sexually touching a child younger than 13. The specific law didn't go into effect in Virginia until July 1981. Because the incident might have occurred before that date, Crocker could not be tried on that charge, Councill said. Authorities knew when they presented the case to a grand jury last February that there might be a problem, Councill said. But they decided to pursue the charge anyway, hoping the victim might later pinpoint a date after July 1981. Crocker's attorney, Murray J. Janus, said he considered the from left, Mike Baker, Jay Hughes and Keith dents who previewed the program Tuesday. "There's got to be a case that is more clear cut," said Jay Hughes, co-chairman of the school's Judicial Council, which, among other things, deals with cases involving student complaints of sexual assault. Hughes and four others watched a videotape of the program in the Daily Press' Williamsburg bureau. " "I just think it slights a seri ous issue," said senior Keith Gagnon. "I think it's important to know about it, but they picked a bad case. It just causes more confusion." Thanks to a petition drive led by the girlfriend of Koestner's alleged attacker, plus articles and letters in campus newspapers criticizing Koestner's account, many William and Mary students have Please see ProgramB2 earned Riverside millions "All of this really paints a picture of how many non-profit hospitals are developing into conglomerates," said Janet Lynch of the Virginia Health Services Cost Review Council, which compiled the report. She said revenue from hospital "affiliates" has nearly tripled statewide since 1988 and the number of affiliates has risen dramatically. The report says the Newport News-based Riverside's spinoffs have been much more profitable than those run by the Norfolk-based Sentara Health System, its major competitor. As a result, Riverside's return on investment last year was twice that of Sentara's. Riverside runs four hospitals and has at least a 25 percent interest in a dozen other for-profit and non-profit ventures, Session begins at noon today. Session ends Feb. 27. Legislators have until Jan. 26 to submit proposed legislation. Last year 2,348 bills and resolutions were considered. Key issues this year: gun control, teacher pay, the state pension fund. die-school students who normally would be expelled or suspended from school because of assault, gun or drug charges and place them in a special intensive program held somewhere Please see ChncB2 case all but over. Janus said he didn't expect a new charge to be filed since the victim has not been able to say specifically when the alleged abuse took place, making any prosecution difficult. Councill said a gag order a judge imposed on authorities involved in the case prevented him from discussing the reasons why he pursued that charge, knowing the problems with the dates. Tuesday, when the victim could not say any more specifically when the alleged abuse Articles and letters in campus newspapers have criticized Katie Koestner's account. Students say they have become skeptical of her story. Gagnon. Dav BowmanDaily Press "No Visible Bruises: The Katie Koestner Story" will air on HBO five more times this month: Thursday at 7 p.m. Monday at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 21 at 1 p.m. Jan. 24 at 3:30 p.m. Jan. 30 at 1 :45 p.m. including a health club, a clinic for low-income patients, a network of urgent-care centers, a laundry service for hospitals and some nursing homes. Riverside Health System had a $25 million surplus in the last fiscal year about $1 million better than the previous year and $4 million better than the year before that. Riverside's biggest money-maker is still Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News, but the system has increased its income from the other pursuits as well. Money-making hospital groups like Riverside, which are technically non-profit and tax-exempt, are under growing pressure to control costs and forfeit revenues Please see Riverside B2 , II I f 5T1 nf.'.3tr Eric J.Smith, Newport News school superintendent, testifies Tuesday before a special subcor. mitteeon crime in schools. The General Assembly convenes today. Fudgoaiiy Press occurred, Council moved to make the charge "nolle prosequi," a legal term meaning not to prosecute further. Circuit Judge E. Everett Bag-nell agreed to Councill's request. The move allows the prosecution to try Crocker on another charge, if it wants. Councill said he'll decide by next month whether he'll pursue another charge. Crocker and his son, David, were arrested in February and charged with molesting children at the day-care center Wallace Please see CrockerB2 BiUcalls for extended phone service Holland hopes to bring ... ; IW into toll-free zone By Bryan Smith Daily Press ISLE OF WIGHT State Sen. Richard J. Holland is spear heading a legislative effort to extend Isle of Wight's local calling area beyond the coun ty. - Holland said he will introduce a bill In the General Assembly that could remove a significant roadblock to rural counties including Isle of Wight seeking toll-free calling privileges. Under his plan calls into the county from the surrounding area would also be toll free. 'Z,2 Under current law, telephone service can be extended if subscribers polled from the calling area support the proposal. But state law also requires subscriber support from the area into which the service will be extended in this case the cities and counties surrounding Isle of Wight. "That's been the major roadblock," says County Administrator Myles E. Standish. "While one community may want it, the other community either doesn't care or doesn't want it" because their rates will be raised, he said. Holland agreed. Virtually all attempts by rural counties have failed because the outside calling areas have withheld support, he said. The county has long expressed interest in broadening local telephone service but has been reluctant to pursue the change because of the lukewarm reception from surrounding areas. Under the Holland legislation, those outside subscribers would not have to be polled if their monthly phone rates would not increase by more than 5 percent because of the extension. Currently, several exchanges within Isle of Wight and all calls out of Isle of Wight are billed as long distance. Residents have complained that the small local calling area makes for unfairly high long-distance bills. Though basic phone rates would go up in Isle of Wight if the local calling area is enlarged, the concept has enjoyed widespread support, county officials say. ' GTE officials say it's too early to predict the extent of the rate increase. ... The proposed legislation does not specify which areas near Isle of Wight would be affected. If successful, extended phone service could prove a boon to economic development in Isle of Wight, Standish said. "There is business upon business in this county that could get inquiries, but the fact that it's a long distance call chills interest," he said. "If we can eliminate that, it would break down the barriers that insulate the county from outside commercial interest." If the Holland bill changes the process for expanding rural calling areas, the General Assembly would still have to grant Isle of Wight specific approval to expand its calling area under the new provision. i'r --cry,:'. , i -

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