The Montana Standard from Butte, Montana on September 24, 1989 · 16
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The Montana Standard from Butte, Montana · 16

Butte, Montana
Issue Date:
Sunday, September 24, 1989
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16 Th Montana Standard, Butt, Sunday, September 24, 1989 Fishing from kayaks 'fVV J "I"-' A WHEN ROBERT, left, and Sarah Blumenthal of Seattle go fishing for salmon they go their separate ways using an unusual method kayaks. The Blumenthals catch their share of fish. But they say it can be a chore when you latch on to a 27-pound salmon. Timber interests ready to axe Dr. Seuss book about logging N.V. Time Nawa S.rvlca LAYTONVILLE, Calif. - A Dr. Seuss classic about greed and logging should remain on a required reading list for second-graders up here in Paul Bunyan country, a special school board committee says. But at least one trustee, a member of a prominent Mendocino County timber family dating back six generations, said he remains ready to take the axe to a book that a few influential town leaders contend ""criminalizes" the timber industry. School board member Art Harwood Jr. said the timber industry, which still puts the meat and potatoes on most workers' tables, is demeaned in the 1971 tale of a mossy creature called "The Lorax" who fights a losing battle to prevent ..pollution and environmental devastation wrought by a greedy logger. Harwood and others contend the 18-year-old tale doesn't reflect today's logging standards, and they apparently are unhappy even with the upbeat ending to the story of the ""TruffulaTree": Plant a nav Truffula. Traat H with car. Giva It claan water. And lead It fresh air. Grow a forest. Protect it from axes that hack. Then the Lorax and all of hla frienda may coma back. 1 "'Axes that hack,' that really gets 'em," said one school employee who asked to remain unidentified. Art Harwood's wife, Becky, was the only person on the seven-member special panel to recommend Wednesday that "The Lorax" be yanked from the reading list. About 50 people, most of them Seuss supporters, showed up for the after-school session - and though some strong statements were made, Becky Harwood was treated with respect, said school Superintendent Brian Buckley. In a community where everyone still knows everything, Seuss sup porters were quick to point out that Becky Harwood is the sister of Judith Bailey, the parent who first filed the formal complaint . In turn Judith Bailey is a partner with her husband, Bill, in an internationally distributed logging supply catalog business . It's not the first time the influential Harwoods and the Baileys have taken on the local school system. Last spring both family-owned companies ran full-page ads in the local newspaper criticizing the educational curriculum as anti-logging. . They were especially .incensed after hearing that a recording of a song by Earth First! troubadour Darryl Chemey was allegedly nlnvoH in a nlaccrnnm "I don't want it banned from the library or taken from the children," wrote Judith Bailey about the Seuss book in her official request that the book be removed from the mandatory reading list. "I just don't want it taught as a science fulfillment or as a reading requirement." nn. BMJj M Mwoti'tfO menus warn iu Knuw Murder mystery? what happened t0 Crystal Los Angeles Dally News BURBANK, Calif. - Friends and family say Crystal Spencer, an aspiring actress who worked as a topless dancer, was murdered in her apartment here last year. They also believe that the Los Angeles County coroner's office examined the wrong body, preventing the police from investigating the death as a murder. County supervisors ordered the Sheriff's Department last week to look into discrepancies in the autopsy. -' . Spencer was listed as 6 feet 7 inches tall and 140 pounds, but medical records show she was seven inches shorter and 35 pounds lighter three weeks before her death. The autopsy said the cause of death was unknown. "If the Burbank police are relying on the autopsy of someone other than Crystal, then there are questions as to their conclusions," said Anton Kline, a friend who has been fighting to have the inquiry reopened since Spencer was found in her apartment in this city just north of downtown Los Angeles on May 13,1988. No investigation "There never was an investigation," Kline said. "Either that or it was bungled and they're covering up." Working with other friends and Spencer's family, Kline has had several medical experts review the autopsy and medical records and conclude that there should be an investigation and that the county medical examiner-coroner erred in-failing to keep tissue samples for further review. Kline also says police have Hot interviewed some potential witnesses including the neighbor who said he heard screams in her apartment just after she was last seen alive. Burbank police say the case has been thoroughly investigated and that there is no evidence that Spencer was slain. Both police and the Burbank city attorney's office have refused to release reports of their investigation, which they claim are . not public documents.' Burbank Sgt. Don Goldberg said the inquiry showed that Spencer . had a substance abuse problem and was "quite ill for several days preceding her death." Burbank City Attorney Julie Scott said the investigation was closed. Reviewed the case The county district attorney's office also has reviewed the case and closed its investigation, but would not release the file: Spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said that divulging the contents would compromise the sheriff's review of the autopsy. "We have not been asked to file anything," said Gibbons. "We have never been presented a, case. We did look, at some material, but I can't go any further than that. The investigation is in the hands of the Burbank Police Department" The badly decomposed body5 of Crystal Lene Spencer, 29, was discovered eight days after she was last seen. She had come to southern California from Ukiah in Northern California in the hopes of being an actress, according to Kline. But the only work she managed to land was at the Wild Goose, a bar sear Los Angeles International Airport. "She was very naive," Kline, a television writer, said. "I pulled out a traveler's check once, and she said, 'What's that?' "She knew there might be bad people there, but all she cared about was becoming an actress." Found by police Kline says he saw Spencer on May J, 10 days before she was found by Burbank police. Phone logs show she called her sister Julie in Torrance two" days later. Kline says he took pictures of Spencer the last time he saw her. "She was counting her tips. She was happy with the money 'she was making,'.' Kline says. Jet Taylor, an engineer who lived downstairs from Spencer, said he heard "incredibly scary" screams coming from Spencer's apartment on Saturday, May 6. ' "It was some screaming, and hollering and. gagging and choking," Taylor, who now lives in Mississippi, said. "You know how you can associate sounds with something you've heard before? These are sounds I've never heard. They were from her." Taylor said that he got up from bed at about 2 a.m. and moved toward the part of the apartment nearest Spencer s. "I put my ear up to the wall," he said. "That was one week prior to them finding the body. The next day, I went to the landlord and said they should check it out." Wouldn't be reached - The building owners could not be reached for comment. He said he told police when they . came for the body that he thought she was murdered, but that they took no statement. Taylor said he received a call from the Burbank police several months ago. "They called me and suggested it was not a murder. They said, 'Don't you believe she was just sick?' All of their questions were geared to that she was a junkie and that she overdosed." 1 The county coroner's autopsy of Spencer says that only slight traces of alcohol and marijuana were found in the body. It also quotes friends who said Spencer was depressed about "her situation" and had a drinking problem. But what concerned Kline and compelled the Board of Supervisors to order a review of the medical examination was wild variations in the height and weight listed in the autopsy and how friends described her. Medical records that Kline said he received from the public county clinic where Spencer was examined . three weeks before she was found dead placed her weight at 105 pounds. 'Well nourished' 140 The autopsy described her as a "well nourished" 140.. Kline said Spencer was just over five feet. The autopsy listed her as 67 inches, or 5 feet'7 inches. , The medical records say she had metal pins and plates in her right ankle from a 1979 accident that shattered the bone. . The autopsy says the body was . tested for foreign objects such as metal but that none were found. Coroners spokesman Bob Dam-bacher said Friday he didot know how such mistakes could be made. ; Another spokesman, Scott Carrier, attributed the discrepancies to "clerical errors." Dambacher said Spencer was identified by fingerprints checked through both county and state files twice and that the identification' was reliable. v - Beginning early this year, Kline began gathering evidence to support his claim that the coroner had examined the wrong body. He called Dr. Irving Roof, a pathologist used for 10 years by the coroner's officer in neighboring San . Bernardino County, who contested some of the conclusions in a Febru- ' ary letter to Kline. 'Certainly disturbing' "The discrepancy in this case is certainly disturbing, and there is no adequate explanation," Root wrote. He said the measured weight "after the subject had been dead for perhaps a week, in a hot apartment and that her weight during life ... was only 105, this becomes an -even greater discrepancy." Kline also solicited the opinion of Dr. William Eckert, a pathologist who was consulted during the postmortems on Robert F. Kennedy and actress Sharon Tate, a victim of the Charles Manson "family". Eckert, now based in Wichita, Kan., faults the coroner for not saving tissue from the body for future examination. In a February letter to Kline, Eckert said that details in the autopsy raised the possibility of strangulation." "I don't know if I could suggest there was foul play, but in light of the differences, there are questions about the .investigation," Eckert said in a telephone interview Friday. Dr. Sharon Schnittker, who performed the autopsy and is now with the Utah state medical examiner's office, is convinced that she examined Crystal Spencer and that a cause of death could not be determined. 'I can understand' "I can understand why Anton is concerned," Schnittker said. "But I feel that was her, that she was correctly identified." After the supervisors ordered a probe of the autopsy, Burbank police released a statement calling Kline obsessed with the belief that Spencer's death was a homicide and saying they had investigated each one of his theories exhaustively. Remodeling? New Construction? CABINETRY - COUNTER TOPS by New Creation Cabinetry A Montana leader in quality for home and business for 10 years Free Estimates 494-8190 750 tfewey Blvd. Butte, MT i i I i I I I I I i l l i I . ' ffww rii "WWN C Two ways to winanewGMC Sierrapickup truck: Spend a buck, win a truck. When you play the Montana Lottery's new game Pickup Plenty, you could be an instant winner of one of nine 1989 GMC Sierra pickup trucks. Montana tm Second chance drawing at your GMC truck dealer. When your ticket stub has a picture of a key on it, you can enter at your local Big Sky Country GMC truck dealer for a chance at a tenth Sierra being given away by the Montana Lottery in this second chance drawing. You're always a winner with GMC. Win one or buy one, you gejt outstanding, value from a new Sierra. In fact, GMC full-size pickup trucks have the highest resale value of any pickup on the road. And they've held that honor for four straight years. Retained value basd upon t sales weighted average of the base nunufecturrr'i suggested rrtail price of vehicles produced during the years 1982-85. compared against die average wholesale auction price of vehicles as reported in die January, 1988 Black Book Test drive the prize. See your local Big Sky Country GMC truck dealer today. 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