The Press Democrat from Santa Rosa, California on February 10, 1993 · 4
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The Press Democrat from Santa Rosa, California · 4

Santa Rosa, California
Issue Date:
Wednesday, February 10, 1993
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DISTRICT MOVE Senator's residency faces test in court By JAMES W. SWEENEY Staff Writer v; Ys r Vt Thompson Challenging state Sen. Mike Thompson's midterm move into a neighboring district to enter a special election, a rival candidate Tuesday asked the California Supreme Court to strike Thompson's name from the ballot. Ukiah attorney Michael Lynn Gabriel, who is also running in the March 2 special election, says Thompson violated a provision of the California constitution that requires legislative candidates to live in their district for one year before running. Thompson was elected to the Senate in 1990 from the 4th district, which includes Thompson's family home in St. Helena. In December, a vacancy was created in the North Coast 2nd district when state Sen. Barry Keene resigned. Thompson entered the race after renting a house in Vallejo, which gives him a voting address in the district. Secretary of State March Fong Eu ruled in 1976 that the residency provision of the constitution is unenforceable, basing her legal opinion on a state Supreme Court ruling that threw out residency rules for local elections. The state election code was amended in 1980 to reflect her opinion, but the language in the state constitution has never been changed. Nor has it been ruled on directly by the state Supreme Court. In court papers filed Tuesday in San Francisco, Gabriel notes that stricter residency requirements have been upheld in other states. He also argues that a one-year residency requirement is less onerous than the lifetime ban approved by the court when it upheld Proposition 140, which established term limits for state elected officials. "If a lifetime ban on running for a Senate seat is not unconstitutional then a mere one year residency See Senator, Page B2 Mom talks of torture at son's hand By BONYSALUDES Staff Writer A 59-year-old Windsor woman pointed at her son in a Santa Rosa courtroom Tuesday and described how in a fit of anger he repeatedly beat and kicked her for almost two hours inside her home last July 24. "He tried to choke me and at one point he took his foot and stepped on my neck," said Alyce I. Davis. Mrs. Davis said her son, 29-year-old Scott William Davis, also grabbed the index and middle fingers of her right hand and separated them so violently that the skin between them tore. The defendant did not react to his mother's testimony. Prosecutor Craig Brooks submitted police photographs taken of the woman at the hospital that he said show Davis "tortured" his mother to the point she was "totally unrecognizable." Mrs. Davis, who spent six days in the hospital, said she is recovering from her injuries. During the attack, Mrs. Davis said, her son threatened to kill her and kept repeating things like, "Where's my mother?" and "You're not my mother because my mother loves me." The woman said her son became angry and started using foul language when she gave him a ride after his car ran out of gas that day. She said she locked the door on him because she didn't like his foul language, but he kicked it in and attacked her, roughing her up mostly while she was helpless on the floor. She said her ordeal came to an end when her husband got home almost two hours after the attacks began. Davis allegedly attacked his mother a few days after completing three years of probation granted to him in 1990 on charges of autb theft and abducting a 61-year-old Santa Rosa woman in her car. He underwent a drug-rehabilitation program for an addiction to methamphet-amines. Municipal Court Judge Robert Dale ordered Davis to stand trial on charges of burglary, torture, felony assault with great bodily Injury, false imprisonment, attempted mayhem, all felonies, and battery, a misdemeanor. Davis, who is In custody, will, appear in Superior Court Feb. 23. Palimony attorney guilty of tax fraud D3 The Press Democrat D Santa Rosa, California, Wednesday, February 10', 1993 earch pets focus on abuse group Missing Petaluma boy's father a leader in LINK By GKOKCE I.Al'KR and CHRIS SMITH SmlT Writers The search for a 34-year-old Petaluma man and his 22-year-old son is focusing attention on a Sonoma County group dedicated to fighting ritual abuse of children. Police say that Peter Tscherneff took the boy, Alex, against the mother's wishes. Tscherneff is a leader of Loving Interven tion for our Nation's Kids, or LINK. The group believes that children in Marin and Sonoma counties are in danger from satan worshippers connected to day-care centers. On Feb. 3, Tscherneff and a friend, Linda Issel, sponsored a LINK meeting at the Community Center in Petaluma. The meeting drew more than 70 people. The next day Tscherneff, his son and Issel disappeared. Petaluma police said they are worried about the child's welfare. "Anyone who could go to this extreme is unpredictable," said Sgt. Vail Bello. "He's clearly trying to hide his whereabouts and that is cause for concern." Tscherneff could face charges of child concealment. Alex's mother, Barbara Blalock of Petalu- Alex Tscherneff Peter Tscherneff ma, is trying to get her son's picture on television news programs in the Bay Area. Blalock, who was never married to Tscherneff, allowed Tscherneff to visit his son regularly. Tscherneff was supposed to return Alex by 8 p.m. last Thursday. A recording on Tscherneff's answering machine said: "Peter and Alex have gone for a two-week vacation." It goes on to say that because of "Lt. Colonel Aquino's influence" over a Novato day-care center, "Alex and the other children are not safe there." Michael Aquino of San Francisco is a frequent target of LINK allegations. Aquino has sued the weekly Mill Valley Record Messenger for libel over stories alleging he was involved in child abuse said to have occurred at a child care center at The Presidio in 1986. Aquino acknowledges heading the 18-year-See LINK, Page B2 " T ".-" J 1 ' V , -.4 MARK ARONOFFPRESS DEMOCRAT Pacfinft roll Sea gulls swoop past a hillside pasture on Tomales Road near VaStlll VU.11 Petaluma in what could pass as a casting call for 'The Birds II.' p tT A TTO' Forecasters say the flock will be flying in the fog this morning with IOr JjirClS 11; partly cloudy and warmer conditions later in the day. Complete Empire forecast, B6. Photos capture gory tale of dog's death Accused killer can't make bail; trial ordered By BONYSALUDES Staff Writer A Santa Rosa man used a 16-inch machete and a hatchet to hack his dog to death to keep him from barking on a rainy night last month, a prosecutor said Tuesday. The weapons were introduced by the prosecutor at a preliminary hearing to determine if John Orville Floyd, 36, should be held for trial. Dr. Robert Chandler, a veterinarian who conducted an autopsy on the young Laborador named Reggie, testified the animal was struck with a "very sharp Instrument" from 15 to 25 times. Chandler was handed some photographs of the dog's wounds by prosecutor Craig Brooks, but had some difficulty in putting what he saw into words. He said he's been in practice for 39 years and "I have never seen anything that even approximates this." Chandler said the dog was repeatedly hacked on his snout and head, his shoulders and back. The dog also suffered a large slash wound that damaged its spine. Death was from multiple causes, including loss of blood, shock and the fact that brain tissue was exposed, Chandler said. At the end of the preliminary hearing Tuesday, Municipal Court Judge Robert Dale ordered Floyd to stand trial on a felony animal cruelty charge. Noting that a couple dozen animal rights activists were seated in the courtroom wearing black armbands, Dale at the start of the hearing said some people have approached him and sent him letters "trying to tell me what I should do." The audience caused no problems after Dale said he'd eject anyone who tried to influence him in the courtroom. One woman called Floyd a monster as he was being led from the courtroom at the end of the hearing. Deputy Public Defender Barry Collins said he researched the public defender's files for the past five years and found that there never has been anyone charged in Sonoma County with a felony in an animal cruelty case. In urging the judge to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor, Collins said Floyd has already spent more time in jail since his Jan. 24 arrest than any other animal cruelty suspect ever arrested in Sonoma County. Floyd has been unable to post his $5,000 bail. In opposing the motion, Brooks said, "An absolute heinous crime was done to this animal." Santa Rosa police Officer Paul Henry said when he got to the back yard of the Cleveland Avenue home, the badly-injured dog was lying in a pool of blood and there was blood splattered all over. "The dog was still breathing and panting, but it wasn't making a sound," Henry said. Dale ordered Floyd to appear for arraignment in Superior Court at 9 a.m. Feb. 23. Ad takes aim at TV news bias By ROBERT DIGITALE Staff Writer A national conservative group's full-page newspaper advertisement attacking television news Tuesday ironically ran on the same day General Motors was making headlines around the country by accusing NBC-TV of rigging a crash test. "We're mad as Hell at TV News!" read the headline of the advertisement, sponsored by Accuracy in Media of Washington, D.C. The $3,200 ad ran in The Press Democrat on Tuesday. Deborah Lambert, a spokeswoman for Accuracy in Media, said the group produced the ad to put the "liberal" media on notice that many people are distrustful of what they see on television. "They look at the media as filtering their news," she said. The group has run the ad in 70 newspapers, raised $266,000 and received 30,000 responses, officials for the group said. Accuracy in Media Chairman Reed Irvine also released a statement Tuesday criticizing what he called "NBC. fakery" for its report on GM pickups. "NBC News apparently is about to learn an embarrassing lesson: if you fake auto-crash tests, make sure that bystanders don't have video cameras," the statement read. Last November NBC showed a fiery crash test during a news magazine segment on the safety of GM pickups that critics say have caused 300 deaths. On Monday GM sued NBC, claiming the broadcaster set off model rocket engines to start the fire. NBC admitted placing "sparking devices" on the truck but denied they caused the fire. Both a spokesman and an observer of broadcast journalism agreed the GM crash test may yet prove a major embarrassment to NBC. But on the larger question of news bias, the two said Accuracy in Media is miles off target. "We both share the sense that there is bias in the media," said Carl Jensen, Sonoma State University communications professor and the head of Project Censored. "It's the form that it takes that we totally differ on." Project Censored claims the press, especially large media corporations, "overlooked" question- SeeAd,PageB2 Plant plan leaves salty taste in Fort Bragg's mouth Council opts for cheaper reservoir By TOBIAS YOUNG Correspondent FORT BRAGG This water-starved city has dropped plans to become the first on the North Coast to have a desalination plant. Instead, the city plans to build a less-costly $5 million reservoir that will take water from the Noyo River. The City Council voted 3-2 on Monday night to do a preliminary environmental study on a proposal to build a reservoir on about 100 acres in Newman Gulch east of town where Georgia-Pacific dumps its redwood bark. Councilman Lindy Peters and Andre Schade opposed the plan because they wanted to pursue a desalination plant. The plant, costing at least $18 million, would have provided almost unlimited water. "My idea of a desalination plant may seem far-fetched and expensive," Peters said. "But I think we're going to need one and I'd like to plan for the future now." Peters and Schade said desalination would solve the city's water problems for 100 years and excess water could be sold to nearby communities. The proposed reservoir will need to be expanded in 20 years and may be insufficient in times of drought, they said. Mayor John Cimolino, who was the swing vote for approval of the reservoir, said it was the least expensive of six options and residents want no further tax burdens. Four projects along Highway 1 in south Fort Bragg may be helped by This is a big step lor a small city to make." MAYOR JOHN CIMOUMO a new reservoir, including a K Mart, a McDonalds and two 50-unit motels. The McDonalds needs no special water approval because the landowner is trading the new connection for an old one in Noyo Harbor. The city, in its capacity as a redevelopment agency, also voted 3-0 on Monday to spend $4.2 million to build roads and other public services for a 221-unit residential and commercial complex planned for the old Holms lumberyard near Glass Beach. The $23 million project is proposed by Dominic Affini-to, a Sacramento businessman who owns a Fort Bragg motel and two restaurants with his son. The town will pay for basic construction such as streets, sidewalks, sewer and water pipes. Over 35 years the city hopes to earn as much as $33 million in annual tax revenue on the new homes, which it would use to fund other redevelopment projects or build new streets, schools and jails. If the project fails, the city could be. saddled with a costly debt "This is a big step for a small city to make," said Cimolino. "I hope history shows it was the right decision." 4 miles MACKERRICHER STATE PARK Lake Cleone 1 i i , ,- Fort Noyo I J W Bragg flvrt 1 Pacffic Ocean MENDOCINO i COUNTY Proposed water reservoir site ORIGINAL DEFECTIVE

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