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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California • Page 3
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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California • Page 3

Los Angeles, California
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los Sr.jrUs Cunts 3 Ffi. Vx 13. 15:8 fort I DWP's Wasco Nuclear Plant Appears Dead Kern County Voters Deal Apparently Fatal Blow to Plan A rTTli v'-l u'K uV-T- 4 nrr p. ft I Uf L7fU It in i i i i Mini tmm mm mmi ii umi i run -timmi iirr- i I Brownsville, of one of five men missing in the Sierra. Right, Carroll Waltz of PONDERING A MYSTERY Imogene Weiher, mother may have seen them.

Timet photo by Cil Monlney BY ERWIN BAKER Tlmti Ctfy urtaw Chltf Prospects for construction of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's proposed $3.5 billion nuclear power plant in the San Joaquin Valley appeared to be doomed Thursday. Representatives of the DWP and the Kern County Board of Supervisors indicated the major nuclear facility would not be built in view of negative action by Kern County voters Tuesday. They opposed by more than 2 to 1 a plan to build the plant 10 miles west of Wasco in northern Kern County. The vote was 47,282 against and 20,591 in favor. The Kern County Board of Supervisors had called the election for guidance in making decisions on the project.

While the vote was not binding, "they (the supervisors) have said the board would vote as the people voted," said Lucille Gauthier, assistant to board Chairman Gene Young. She said she expected the board to ratify the popular vote at its meeting Tuesday and formally notify the DWP of its decision. James L. Mulloy, chief electrical engineer and assistant manager of DWP, said the department was "considering the impact of the election," but that: "We are not going to build a plant up there without Kern County approval." That is in accordance with the DWP's position, which remains unchanged, he said. By Kern County approval, Mulloy said, he meant endorsement of the department's application for a conditional land-use permit by the county's Planning Department and eventually by the supervisors.

Asked whether that meant abandonment of the project, he replied: "I am not prepared to say that now It's all up in the air." Please Turn to Page 24, Col. 1 Foul Play Yuba City Chleo JB CV OrovllH (( UMaryvllle Lake -9 Brownavllla SSn Bullarda Bar Res. TRACES The missing men left Marysville 1 to attend a basketball game in Chico (2). Their car was found abandoned at Mountain House (3). They were believed sighted at Brownsville (4).

Times map by Don Clement Blackout Laid to Human Error, Slow Switch BY DAVE ROSENZWEIG Tlmti Staff Wrlttr A human error and a mechanical malfunction were blamed Thursday for the rolling backout that left nearly 1 million residents in San Diego and southern Orange counties without electricity for up to hours Wednesday. Jack E. Thomas, vice president of San Diego Gas Electric Co. told a news conference that a maintenance crew foreman "made a mistake" after he finished servicing a circuit breaker at the utility's South Bay generating plant in suburban Chula Vista. The forman, whose name was withheld to protect him from public embarrassment, failed to remove a ground wire before the device was put back into service.

The result was an explosive flash and an electrical "shock wave" that surged through the entire system, setting off other circuit breakers and causing the rolling blackout. But Thomas said the outage might have been confined to the area served by the Chula Vista plant were it not for a mechanical malfunction that occurred immediately after the foreman's error. A backup circuit breaker should have activated itself in a tenth of a second, he said, but for undetermined reasons took two or three seconds before going into action. Those few seconds were all that was needed to extend the effects of the mishap throughout the San Diego County area. The utility executive refused to say whether any disciplinary action was planned against the errant foreman.

He described the man as a well-trained, normally conscientious worker with 19 years of service. Removal of the ground wire is on a checklist of procedures maintenance crews are required to follow during equipment servicing. The South Bay facility and nuclear power plant at San Onofre were completely disabled during the blackout while two of four generating units at the Encina plant and the entire Silvergate facility continued to function. Thomas said this resulted in a loss of electricity to 318,000 of the company's 700,000 customers. By assuming a multiple of 2V persons served per household, he estimated a total of about 800,000 were directly affected by the blackout.

Recalling the experience of other utilities in coping with systemwide Please Turn to Page 31, Col. 3 Suspected Mountain Houaa MILES 29, of Yuba City. The men worked at Gateway Projects in Yuba City, a program for the handicapped. The men were last seen at a basketball game in Chico between the UC Davis and Chico State University teams on Feb. 24.

The men, all sports enthusiasts who played basketball in special leagues for the handicapped, had driven 50 miles from Marysville for the game. They did not return home and were reported missing by the parents of Madruga on Saturday morning, Feb. 25. A U.S. Forest Service ranger re-Please Turn to Page 28, Col.

1 said he had raised only $39,495 in cash contributions and had spent all but $8,989. Now, according to campaign insiders, the Davis drive has picked up about $350,000, including tickets already sold for the March 21 dinner and the fund-raising pace is quickening. Davis is unique among the candidates in that he has a two-track effort Please Turn to Page 32, Col. 5 of the men said he thinks all five are dead. But Edward Klopf and other families have offered a $1,000 reward, boosted to $2,600 by other contributions, in hopes that the men may be found alive.

"We definitely feel something has happened but we also feel they are alive," the mother of a second man said. Yuba County Sheriff-Coroner Jim Grant identified the five men as: Theodore Earl Weiher, 32; Gary Dale Mathias, 25; Jack Charles Huett, 24; and Jack Atone Madruga, 30; all of Marysville; and William Lee Sterling, Missing 5: Disappearance of Retarded Men Raises Question BY DAVE SMOLLAR Tlmti Stall Wrlttr MARYSVILLE Five mentally retarded men from the Marysville-Yuba City area disappeared in the mountain wilderness northeast of here two weeks ago and sheriff's officials of two counties said Thursday they now suspect foul play. The men, in their late 20s and early 30s, were last seen on the night of Feb. 24, at a college basketball game in Chico, about 50 miles north of here, and vanished while returning to their homes. They are described as "slightly mentally retarded" by their families and unable to care for themselves over lenghty period of time.

The little evidence so far available to sheriff's officials in Butte and Yuba counties is baffling, suggesting that the men were forced from their car the night they disappeared, yet several days later were reported joyriding in a different vehicle. In addition: One witness was suffering a serious heart attack at the time he may have seen the men, and is confused over some crucial details. Two other witnesses did not report their alleged sightings of the men until almost a week later. The family of one of the missing men has called in a psychic to help with the case, generating some controversy with other families. "This case is bizarre as hell," Jack Beecham, Yuba County undersheriff, told The Times.

"But as time goes on, foul play becomes a greater probability. "It's hard to lose five people, that's for sure." On Thursday, the stepfather of one Davis Learns Change Evolves BY RICHARD BERGHOLZ Tlmti Political Wrlttr The education of a candidate: For a long time in his campaign for governor, former Los Angeles Police Chief Edward M. Davis not only wouldn't ask anyone to contribute to his campaign but wouldn't even permit campaign aides to solicit for funds. "If anyone wants to give us money," he said, "let 'em do it on their own, without asking." Now, things are a bit different. A lot of big -money contributors have been solicited, some by Davis, to chunk big sums into his quest for the Republican nomination for governor.

Some will go on display at the Beverly Wilshire March 21, when the Davis campaigners put on a $250-a-platc fund-raising dinner. GOP LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR RACE APPEARS TIGHT BY MERVIN D. FIELD Wl Tht Pltltf Initltutt Mike Curb and Mike Antonovich appear to be in a very tight race at this stage for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor, but neither is widely known by GOP voters. And the Democratic incumbent, Gov. Mcrvyn Dymally, currently holds a comfortable margin over his lesser-known primary election opponent, Penny Raven, a Fresno businesswoman.

On the basis of telephone interviews during the period Feb. 11-23, Please Turn to Page 32, Col. 3 BIOCHEMIST BUSY Baby Mammoth May Offer Clue to Genetic Past BY WILLIAM ENDICOTT Tlmti sun Wrlttr BERKELEY Allan C. Wilson was closeted in his laboratory here Thursday and refusing all calls. He was grinding up, gram by gram, the tissue of a Russian mammoth.

The tissue came from a perfectly preserved carcass of a baby mammoth unearthed last summer by Soviet gold miners digging in the Siberian permafrost. It was the first complete mammoth found in more than 100 years and, according to a UC Berkeley spokesman, could open "unexpected doors" for biochemists studying the evolution of life. Wilson, an authority in evolutionary biochemistry, arranged to obtain a sample from colleagues in the Soviet Academy of Science and it was shipped to him from Moscow, packed in dry ice, earlier this week. The tiny sample a slice of muscle from a hind leg weighs only about an ounce but, Wilson said, may contain much information about the genes of extinct species and ancestors of present-day species. Mammoths were the ancestors of today's elephants and roamed the chilly North American and European continents during the last Ice Age.

They were extremely hairy and had long, upward curving tusks. Wilson said none of the mammoth specimens found earlier in Alaska or Siberia was suitable for biochemical study and, as a result, very little is known about what proteins might have survived during their long burial in the permafrost. He told Don Koue of the public information staff at UC Berkeley that if biologically active proteins are found in the Soviet specimen they will be studied "to see how different they are in amino acid sequence from their counterpart proteins in present-day elephants." Such knowledge, he said, could add Please Turn to Page 24, Col. 1 Heart Disease in Women Growing Under-45 Group Hit by Several Factors BY HARRY NELSON Tlmai Mtdlcal Wrlttr ANAHEIM Cigaret smoking, high blood pressure and other risk factors in heart disease appear to be taking their toll on a select group of the population generally considered to be safe from heart disease women under 45. That conclusion can be drawn from two reports presented Thursday at the closing session of the American College of Cardiology meeting here.

"Historically young females are not thought to have coronary artery disease, but coronary artery disease is the second highest cause of death in women under 45," said Dr. David D. Waters of the Montreal Heart Institute. Waters studied X-ray pictures of the coronary arteries of 239 women under 45 whose coronary arteries were studied because of complaints of chest pain. 11c found that the X-rays, known as coronary arteriograms, revealed no evidence of blockage of the coronary arteries in 112 of the 239 women.

Waters then compared the blood pressure, smoking habits, cholesterol levels and family histories of the normal group with the group found to Please Turn lo Page 3, Col. 4 State Bar Keeps Feud Simmering Board Won't Temper Reply to Brown Aide BY GENE BLAKE Tlmtt Ltgal Affaire Wrlttr The State Bar board of governors Thursday continued its feud with Gov. Brown's legal affairs secretary, refusing to withdraw its reference to the "people's courts of Nazi Germany" in criticism of his court reforms proposals. J. Anthony Kline, the Brown legal aide, touched off the feud in a Jan.

3 interview in the Sacramento Bee in which he said lawyers are "a part of the problem" behind court congestion. Two weeks later, the 21-member State Bar board of governors counterattacked with a resolution branding Kline's comments as "a slander against courts and lawyers." It said Kline's suggested solutions reflect the proposition that disputes can be solved better without courts, judges or lawyers. "Models of 'courts' without laws, judges or lawyers are well known in the people's courts of Nazi Germany and the peasant courts of the People's Republic of China," the board resolution said. "We doubt that California wants to copy these models." Please Turn to Page 27, Col. 2 Campaign Finance Ropes in Position on Soliciting Contributions Frank Hathaway, his campaign chairman, said Davis still is not one of the slickest money solicitors in the business but he's markedly better than he used to be.

Some big-money givers prefer to talk personally with the candidate before they sit down to write their check and in one instance, Davis did so with a wealthy conservative woman, who promptly wrote out a $10,000 check. Maybe she would have anyway but the fact that Davis agreed to make a personal bid for her support shows some of the more pragmatic Davis campaigners that the retired chief is at least a little more flexible than before. "I still won't do it," Davis said when asked about his fund-raising activities but he didn't really mean it. Hathaway said, "I think he's beginning to realize that his presence is a powerful way to help raise campaign money." For 37 years on the police force, Davis was under rather rigid constraints when it came to taking moneycertainly when it came to asking for money. And he, like most candidates, finds it demeaning and obnoxious to have to go "hat in hand" to big contributors and ask for money.

The fact is, however, that Davis' campaign has run up against the hard realities that without a lot of money, he will have a hard time competing for the Republican nomination. This is particularly true because Davis is not well known in Central and Northern California and because at least one of his rivals, Assemblyman Ken Maddy of Fresno, already has raised more than $750,000. As of the end of last year, Davis i.MMtnMiaii.maai whirl wan smmAtimnM WHERE TWO WERE TRAPPED-Wrecked car in which two 16-year-old girls were pinned for about 25 minutes on northbound Golden State Freeway at San Fernando Mission Road. 'The car was hit in vhu rear by a truck. One girl was injured critically; the other had a broken leg.

Tlmti photo by Al Mnrkndo 3.

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