The Press Democrat from Santa Rosa, California on February 11, 1993 · 19
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The Press Democrat from Santa Rosa, California · 19

Santa Rosa, California
Issue Date:
Thursday, February 11, 1993
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niuEn nEsonT Fife's on schedule for March opening By CLARK MASON Stuff Writer Recent flooding In Guernevllle caused some damage at Fife's Resort, but not enough to hold up the new buyers' re-opening plans. David Cole, the Marin County man purchasing the longtime Russian River resort, said damage was minimal, confined to a small road on the grounds and a cinderblock building in the campground portion of the resort. Cole said he and his partner, David Shafer, hope to have the bar and restaurant open by the middle of March. Lodging facilities should be open by April, according to Cole. One large group from out-of-town has already booked rooms for mid-April, he said. Cole said escrow is scheduled to close any day. We want to retain a lot of the character. DAVID COLE, NEW OWNER A previous would-be buyer of Fife's, Sam Northern, shook up the Russian River area last spring when he announced plans to turn the gay resort back into a traditional, "family-style" spot. But Northern's deal fell through. ' Cole and Shafer plan to continue Fife's as a gay resort, although Cole said Monday that Fife's has been a place where locals enjoyed going for a drink or to dine, regardless of their sexual orientation. And he wants it to remain that way. Fife's is being sold by the estate of the late Peter Pender, a world-class bridge player who died of AIDS in 1990. Pender bought Fife's in the late 1970s and turned the 15-acre piece of riverfront property into a gay resort. Roger Sleight, a San Francisco attorney and executor for the Pender estate, said Tuesday there are still a few loose ends to tie up as far as the escrow, but he forsees no problems. Sleight said about two-thirds of the $1.4 million in proceeds from the sale of Fife's will go toward two AIDS-related charities and a human rights organization, as specified by the Pender estate. Cole said renovation will begin soon, but added, "We want to retain a lot of the character" of the old resort, which was known in its early days as Murphy's. As far as the restaurant at Fife's, which Cole concedes has had its ups and downs, he said he is aiming for the same flavor as the Inverness Inn a small country place with regional foods and California wines. Clearlake seeks to fill council seat By MARY CALLAHAN Staff Writer Politically minded Clearlake residents have a chance to join the City Council this month without the complications of an election. Officials plan to appoint a new council member to complete the remaining two-year term of Harry Smith who has been ill. City Council members are now seeking applications from the public. "I would view (my choice) in the same way I would vote for somebody, is what it boils down to," said Mayor Caroline Constable. "I'm looking for someone who is going to be proactive (and) has business interests at heart, because that's the lifeblood of the community." Smith, who suffered a stroke during heart surgery last October, missed four months of meetings. The council has declared his absences unexcused, opening the seat to an appointed replacement. Since officials must fill Smith's seat before the end of February, however, they plan to interview candidates and make their appointment the same day, said City Clerk Sharon Goode. Applications, available at City Hall or by mail, must be submitted by 5 p.m., Feb. 23, Goode said. The council has scheduled a special meeting at 10 a.m. Feb. 25 for the interviews. The council's four members are eager to have a fifth person on board to cut down the 2-2 ties that have plagued them since Smith's departure, Constable said. Wounded doc expected trouble D3 The Press Democrat D Santa Rosa, California, Thursday, February 1 1, 1993 Mystery clouidls cMd-steataig case ByCHRISSMITlI Stuff W riter Where Is Peter Tscherneff? It's the most urgent question Involving the former tennis pro from Petaluma, newly named in a $500,000 felony warrant for allegedly stealing his 2-year-old son. But there's a more fundamental question. Who is he? The co-leader of a Santa Rosa-based group dedicated to protecting children from satanic pedophiles says Tscherneff, 34, Is a father who took the ultimate step to remove his boy from an abusive child care center. Accused father feared abuse, satanism "We believe that Peter Tscherneff made the decision that anything is better than losing a child," said Denise Beaumont of Santa Rosa, a colleague of Tscherneff in LINK Loving Intervention for our Nation's Kids. LINK alleges that children are routinely raped and killed by satanlsts and that authorities and the press conspire to keep the crimes covered up. A former girlfriend of Tscherneff whose H-y ear-old daughter was fathered by him says he is a man obsessed for nearly four years by visions of devils behind every tree. "Psychologically there's something extremely wrong with him," said Suzen Stratten of Healdsburg. "If you don't agree with him, you're a satanist." Petaluma police have been looking for Tscherneff since last Thursday, when he failed to return his son, Alexander Blalock-Tscherneff, to the boy's mother. Barbara Blalock has custody of the child, who will turn 3 next May, but Tscherneff is allowed visitation. Tscherneff had Alex for the day and was supposed to return him to Blalock by 8 p.m., but did not. Authorities believe that Tscherneff and his girlfriend, Linda Jean Issel of Santa Rosa, have fled the area with the boy. Issel's estranged husband, Santa Rosa businessman Larry Issel, said her friends and family are devastated by her disappearance. Larry Issel said Linda, 45, was a responsible and loving person until she became involved with LINK and Tscherneff late last year. See Mystery, Page B2 urn y v,t; '": I J A If in? I ) h H A n i ) O U-O 1 ft, 1 w v 1 I C) ( vV V ? Ml 4 v J i I , V 1 T- XW J? 1 1 N' M 4 ,J n w """"ivi.'.,,.,, ANNIE WELLSPRESS DEMOCRAT Gilbert and Alice Gray made a $10,000 contribution to the athletic funds of Schools Plus. Giving children a chance $10,000 gift goes to sports By KATE TAYLOR Staff Writer There are many ways to teach a child the importance of hard work, cooperation and fairness, but Gilbert Gray says the best way is through a good game of baseball. That's why 41 -year Santa Rosa resident Gray, 76, and his wife, Alice, 75, handed the Santa Rosa City School Board of Education a check for $10,000 toward school athletic programs at Wednesday night's meeting. "I've seen plenty of kids that never knew they could do any good," said Gilbert Gray, a retired barber and former Sonoma County Juvenile Hall counselor. "But they start playing basketball or baseball and they realize they're good at something. Then other good things start happening." By contributing to the athletic funds of Schools Plus, a fund-raising group representing 30 schools in Santa Rosa, the Grays hope to give Santa Rosa children a chance to build self-confidence and get through school, Gilbert Gray said. "I'm just overwhelmed," said John Bribiescas, president of Schools Plus. "This is the largest personal contribution we've ever gotten. We're really moved by it." During the 48 years since the Grays moved from Texas to California, they have worked in many ways improve the city's education system and community programs. In the mid-1950s, they helped establish a Sonoma County chapter of the NAACP, and last year they donated $150,000 to begin a scholarship endowment program for African-Americans administered by the NAACP. Schools Plus, which has given $94,000 to Santa Rosa city schools, $10,500 to Rincon Valley Junior High School and added $40,000 toward the Schools Plus endowment fund this year, has a broad donor base of parents in Santa Rosa and Rincon Valley. Jim Gray, president of the school board and one of the Gray's nine children, said his 'I've seen plenty of kids that never knew they could do any good." GILBERT GRAY parents were eager to repay the community for past generosity. "There are people out there who bent over backwards to help us in lots of ways," Jim Gray said. "They wanted to continue that tradition of helping." Schools Plus, which has operated in Santa Rosa for the past three years, raises funds for arts, theater and other academic programs in local elementary and high schools. However, the Grays specified that funds from their donation should be used exclusively for athletic programs. Hamburg says Powell should step down now Opposition to cuts, gays cited By JAMES W. SWEENEY Staff Writer Rep. Dan Hamburg said Wednesday that Gen. Colin Powell should step down as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff because of his opposition to Pentagon budget cuts and ending the ban on gays in the military. "The sooner the better," Hamburg said. Powell, whose term expires Sept. 30, denied a New York Times report that he has asked to resign several months early because of Clinton administration proposals to make deeper cuts in military spending and allow gays to enlist in the armed services. During a Hamburg round views of inter- on the Powell morning news programs, Powell did say that he might step down "a month or so early in order to get my family resettled." Hamburg, who was sharply critical of the U.S. military during his campaign, said he's ready for Powell to leave immediately. "I think it's appropriate for Powell to take an early exit," Hamburg said in an interview on KSRO radio's "Talk of the North Bay" program. "He is at odds with the president on two key issues." Clinton wants to cut military spending by $60 billion more than President George Bush proposed through 1997. He also has called for reducing the number of troops by 200,000 more than Bush had recommended. Powell reportedly considers the deeper cuts too severe. He also is opposed to Clinton's plan to lift the ban on gays in the military. Hamburg noted the disagreement on gays, but said "the more substantive issue that I think is the reason for Powell to leave at this point is he is clearly balking at the additional $60 million in cuts in military spending." 1 Following the program, the first-term congressman said he would cut military spending by $30 billion more than Clinton has proposed a total of about $140 billion over four years, compared to $110 billion in cuts sought by the president.! "It's been said that Powell can't stomach those cuts," he said. "I can stomach them." Hamburg, who is in California for a week during a congressional recess, is scheduled to join a group of Democratic congressmen at a meeting with Clinton at the White House on Monday to discuss the president's economic plan, which is to be unveiled next week. He said he will urge the president to weigh his stimulus plan toward boosting public works spending rather than the expected balance of $15 billion in tax incentives for business and $15 billion in new spending. "I'm not a big tax credit fan," Hamburg said. "We tried the approach of putting more dollars in the hands of wealthy individuals in the '80s." Hamburg said he is reviewing North Coast federal highway projects to find some that could be expedited if extra funds are allocated for public works. He said he also will seek funding for a sewage -treatment plant in Napa. Asked about other budget-bal- ancing measures under discussion in Washington, Hamburg said he opposes a freeze on Social Security payments but favors taxing a larger portion of benefits for senior citizens receiving more than $32,000. Windsor contracts for law enforcement Sheriff to provide 13-member force By STEVE HART Staff Writer WINDSOR Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Ihde will provide law enforcement for the new Town of Windsor under an agreement approved by the Town Council on Wednesday night. Windsor becomes the first Sonoma County city to contract with the sheriff for police protection. "We're really looking forward to the partnership," said Ihde. "I see this as a model," said Councilman Allan Rawland. Windsor became a city last year and must provide all of its own services starting July 1. Windsor considered setting up its own police department, but found the start-up costs too high. For a fee of $1.57 million, Ihde will furnish a 13-member police force for the town of 15,000 residents. The Town Council last week named Sheriffs Lt. Jim Piccinini, 43, Windsor's first police chief. He will begin organizing the department March 1, but new deputies won't be reporting for duty until July 1. Windsor must first set up a police headquarters, buy equipment and hire the deputies who will work for Windsor. The deputies will function as city police but they'll still be county employees under the agreement. Half of the deputies will be on board by July 1, and the department will be fully staffed by November. The agreement calls for eight deputies, two sergeants, a community services officer, a half-time clerk and half-time investigator. Windsor will pay the county $1.57 million for the first year of service. The figure doesn't include the cost of a police headquarters, furnishings, equipment or vehicles, however. Those expenses will bring the total first-year cost to about $2.1 million, according to Town Manager Bert Wills. The agreement expires in 1998, but Windsor and the county must renegotiate the terms each year. County Supervisor Nick Esposti, who represents Windsor, said he expects the Board of Supervisors will approve the law enforcement agreement by March 1. Windsor accounted for about 44 percent of all crimes in the north county unincorporated area in 1991. But until last summer, only two sheriff's patrol units covered the entire region. Last year, the new town ar-See Windsor, Page B2

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