The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California on December 1, 1981 · 1
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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California · 1

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Tuesday, December 1, 1981
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Morning Final Late Racing Tuesday, December 1, 1981 Circulation: 1 ,036.522 Daily 1 .290. 194 Sunday MFt 118 pages Copyright 1981, Los Angeles TimesDaily 25c Natalie Wood Autopsy !DrwnMinis Called Acodeimttal. Fell While Trying to Board Boat Noguchi By JACK JONES and JERRY BELCHER, Times Staff Writers Actress Natalie Wood apparently slipped and drowned accidentally while trying to enter an inflatable boat to leave the yacht where her husband, actor Robert Wagner, and her film co-star were arguing, a coroner's autopsy MGMDilemma 'V' mz&mmmm&mss&i mmmm Still Hot Recent winter storms have left an al- tains, but steam continues to rise from the lava most solid cover of snow over Western moun- dome of Mt. St. Helens in Washington state. Israel Seeking Changes in Plan on Sinai Force indicated Monday. Coroner Thomas T. Noguchi said examination of the body found floating face down off Santa Catali-na Island on Sunday showed she had a blood alcohol level of .14 and that he assumed she was "slightly intoxicated." Under California law, a motorist can be arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol with a reading of .10. Noguchi said there was "no evidence of foul play" and that a scrape or bruises on her left cheek were consistent with her having fallen and struck the yacht as she went into the water. "It was not a homicide. It was not a suicide. It was an accident," Noguchi told a news conference. Dinner on Island Noguchi said investigation showed "there was much recreational drinking going on" Saturday evening as the Wagners went ashore on Santa Catalina Island for dinner with actor Christopher Walken and yacht skipper Dennis Davern, then returned. But the coroner, suggested it would be unfair to conclude that drunkenness caused Miss Wood to fall into the cold, dark water of Isthmus Cove just before 1 a.m. Sunday. Nevertheless, he said her intoxication was "one of the factors involved in the fact that she was not able to respond to the emergency." Her body was found at 7:45 a.m., floating just beneath the surface off Blue Cavern Point, about a mile away from the anchored 55-foot yacht Splendour. The motorized inflatable boat was found beached nearby. Interviews with those present, Noguchi said, produced the information that upon the party's return to the yacht Saturday evening, Wagner and Walken engaged in a "nonviolent argument." Argument on Yacht Assistant Coroner Richard Wilson said he did not know what the argument was about, only that it was "a heated discussion on a variety of subjects." He said it apparently was not over Miss Wood, 43. Wearing a nightgown and hooded parka, the actress apparently went to the stern of the yacht, where the motorized inflatable boat was tied. Noguchi said he believed she untied the rope to the dinghy and was trying to step down into it when she may have slipped on the swim step, mounted on the yacht's stern. Noguchi said the outboard motor on the inflatable boat had not been started, perhaps explaining why those on the Splendour did not hear anything. "It was quite possible she may have been yelling," the coroner said, "but no one heard." Please see WOOD, Page 3 Classics With Class Free-Form Radio Wakes Up Chicago By LARRY GREEN, Times Staff Writer CHICAGO When clock radios around town clicked on one morning, sleepy-eyed Chicagoans tuned to WFMT heard the announcer say: "There is no news of sufficient importancehere is the weather." That report came as no surprise to listeners of this city's most unconventional radio station. After all, it could just as easily have been the reverse, with a 20-minute newscast stretched to 40 minutes to accommodate important happenings, including the latest in world bridge and chess competition. WFMT's mainstay is culture. The FM station is an unpretentious fine arts institution in Chicago that has been commercially successful by being uncompromising, classy and mostly classical over the last 30 years. Carried by Satellite Odd as it may seem to those accustomed to formula news, talk, rock, pop, and country programming, this unusual station, which mixes humor, poetry, drama and folk music with large doses of Mozart, Mahler, Beethoven, Wagner and lesser-known artists, is America's only radio super -station, carried by satellite to hundreds of cities in 34 states. But unlike listener -supported stations, whose programming is sometimes similar to its own, WFMT earns its income from commercials. Broadcasting critics have hailed it as the best commercial classical radio station in the country, and it has picked up more awards in the last three decades than any other American commercial station. "It is an oasis in a desert," Richard Seid, a Chicago businessman, said. Seid, like hundreds of thousands of Chicago's high-income professionals, is a loyal fan. A 1979 study of WFMT listeners showed almost 50 had incomes over $35,-000, more than 75 had college degrees and most lived along the north shore of Lake Michigan from the condominiums of Chicago's Gold Coast to the affluent suburbs, farther north. 'Listeners Are Friends' "Our attitude has always been that our listeners are our peers, our friends," said Raymond Nordstrand, the station's president, general manager and an occasional announcer. Nordstrand is a former Northwestern University economics instructor and has been at the station almost since it was founded. "It was formed by people who wanted a radio station that they themselves wanted to listen to," said Norman Pellegrini, once an aspiring actor and now WFMT vice president and program director. With Nordstrand, Pellegrini is credited for WFMT's innovation and success. "We share with listeners things that we mutually enjoy," he said. "We like the idea of mix, we do not want to be a classical jukebox." "We have dragged people somewhat subtly into areas of musical discovery," Pellegrini said, "not with an educational approach but with variety in programming." "Most classical stations are just classical," Nordstrand said. "We're a fine arts station. We can justify Please see WFMT, Page 10 By NORMAN KEMPSTER, Times Staff JERUSALEM-The Israeli Cabinet on Monday endorsed a proposed compromise to allow four European nations to participate in the Sinai peacekeeping force, provided that the United States agrees to some "cosmetic changes." The action apparently removes at least for the time being an Israeli threat to veto Britain, France, Italy and the Netherlands as members of the U.S.-led multinational force being organized to patrol the Sinai Peninsula after Israel withdraws from the region next April and returns it to Egyptian control. However, the Israeli decision to propose changes in the draft statement, put together Friday during a 7V4-hour meeting in Washington between Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig Jr. and Israeli Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir, indicates that the diplomatic maneuvering is not yet over. Cabinet Secretary Arye Naor said the proposed changes which he refused to make public were decided upon Sunday night by Shamir and hospitalized Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who is recovering from a broken thighbone. Naor said the Cabinet, meeting Monday without Begin present, unanimously endorsed the proposal, including the changes. In April, 1980, the European Economic Community, meeting in Venice, issued a declaration calling for participation by the Palestine Liberation Organization in the If Death Halts Unfinished Wood Film By PETER J. BOYER, Times Staff Writer Even as most of a stunned film community mourned Natalie Wood's death and speculated about its perplexing circumstances a series of urgent meetings was called at MGM studios on Monday. The subject was Natalie Wood, but the nature of the meetings was strictly business. MGM's dilemma.- What to do about "Brainstorm," a $12.5 million movie-in-progress that starred Miss Wood? Studio spokesman Al Newman issued this statement late Monday: "The production of 'Brainstorm' has been suspended. It being a sensitive and complex situation, MGM can make no further statement at this time." Sources at MGM said studio executives may not decide the film's fate until later this week. Miss Wood's death forced a production shutdown just two weeks before principal photography on the film was to end. Scrapping Film Unlikely Director Douglas Trumball and John Foreman, the film's producer, discussed with top-level MGM executives the possibility of salvaging the film and the considerable investment behind it without Miss Wood. A source at the studio said it was "very unlikely" that the film would be scrapped. "We have an investment that has to be protected," the source said, "one way or the other." One of the matters discussed at MGM on Monday was Miss Wood's importance to the scenes that remained to be shot. According to one source, Miss Wood was scheduled for only three days' more work before the cameras. So, one option available to the producers is to complete the film, using a double for Miss Wood and employing camera tricks, such as longshots and over-the-shoulder shots, to disguise the substitution. "The trouble is," a source said, "they may need certain close-up shots and reaction shots. He (Trumball) has a unique kind of style, and there may be a lot of close Please see DILEMMA, Page 3 Writer cover certain kinds of vehicular homicide. Bird said the ruling "makes it a virtual certainty that any individual who knowingly drives to a social outing, takes a few drinks, and while driving home is involved in an accident in which a death occurs, may be charged with murder in the second degree." The ruling drew praise from Deputy Atty. Gen. Thomas R. Yanger, who had argued the case before the justices. He said the decision is likely to help discourage drunk driving. "I think an individual on the street will be deterred somewhat from drinking and driving," Yanger said. The ruling came in the case of Robert Lee Watson, charged in a high-speed, early morning crash in Redding in January. 1979, that Please see COURT, Page 16 inii Writer Mideast peace process and for recognition of Palestinian rights. The four European nations proposed for the Sinai force all are Common Market members. After weeks of pressure from the United States, the four nations agreed last month to join the 2,500-man force. However, to minimize the objections of Arab governments that oppose the Israel-Egypt peace treaty, the Europeans coupled their agreement to participate with a reassertion of the Venice Declaration. Saudi Arabia and other oil-producing Arab nations, all important trading partners of the four European countries, prefer the Venice Declaration to the Camp David process, of which the peace treaty is a part. Israel objects to the Venice Declaration and had threatened to veto the four nations' participation for this reason. The Haig-Shamir compromise reportedly includes the issuing of a joint statement by the United States and Israel declaring that the Sinai force is part of the Camp David process and has nothing to do with any other peace proposal. The Israeli revisions will be submitted to Washington through normal diplomatic channels, Naor said. the Americans agree, the Cabinet will meet again to give its formal approval to the compromise plan. (United Press International re-Please see SINAI, Page 12 secrecy. Nitze appeared before a crowd of reporters and television camera crews at the U.S. mission here to read a brief statement four hours after the meeting. After characterizing the session as "cordial and businesslike," he said: "In following the instructions of both our governments to engage in serious negotiations, we have concurred that the details of the negotiations must be kept inside the negotiating rooms. It is only by mutual respect for the confidentiality of these proceedings that we can hope to look at the hard issues which divide us and to search for solutions that will assure security and reduce tensions. "Therefore, we will not discuss publicly the issues on the negotiating table. I will not engage in a de-Please see TALKS, Page 13 Associated Press Airliner Crashes in Mountains; Fate of 168 Unknown AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France JB A Yugoslav DC-9 airliner believed to be carrying 168 people crashed in a mountainous region of Corsica early today, the regional air traffic control center said here. The condition of the occupants of the aircraft was not immediately known. The aircraft sent a distress message shortly before it was due to land at Ajaccio airport on the west coast of the Mediterranean island Corsica, the control center said. The plane was on final approach to the airport when the control tower lost radio and radar contact. The plane was believed to be on a charter flight. The French regional government office in Ajaccio said it understood there were 168 Yugoslavs on board the flight. Justices Ease Test of Proof on Obscene Films By JIM MANN, Times Staff Writer WASHINGTON The Supreme Court ruled 6 to 3 Monday that local officials do not have to prove "beyond a reasonable doubt" that movies are obscene when they go to court to stop a theater from showing pornographic movies. The justices, acting in a case from Santa Ana, Calif., decided that state judges are free to impose some less strict legal standard of proof in obscenity cases. For example, a state court could decide that authorities need to show that movies are obscene merely by a "preponderance of the evidence." The effect of the decision is to make it somewhat easier for city officials or local prosecutors to show that films are obscene. Under "public nuisance" laws in California and some other states, authorities may ask a court to prevent a theater from showing obscene movies. The high court ruled on the Santa Ana dispute without hearing legal arguments or asking for detailed le- Please see OBSCENITY, Page 18 Tho Weather National Weather Service forecast: Fair through Wednesday. Highs today in the mid-70s and Wednesday in the upper 70s; lows in the low 50s. High Monday, 65; low, 48. High Nov. 30 last year, 68; low 51. Record high Nov. 30, 88 in 1964; record low, 37 in 1906. Complete weather details and smog forecast In Part IV, Page 23. U.S.-Soviet Arms Envoys Meet, Pledge Full Secrecy Filing of Murder Charge in Drunk Driving Case Upheld By PHILIP HAGER, Times Staff SAN FRANCISCO Drunk drivers who cause fatal automobile crashes may be prosecuted for second-degree murder, a crime providing for a prison term of from 15 years to life, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday. The justices rejected 5-2 the contention that all vehicular homicides must be prosecuted as vehicular manslaughter an offense with lesser penalties of from one year in jail to five years in prison. The court, in a majority opinion by Justice Frank K. Richardson, said there were circumstances where a drunk driver's gross negligence and conscious disregard for life implies "malice" the legal prerequisite for a finding of murder. In dissent, Chief Justice Rose Elizabeth Bird said the majority was "rewriting the law" in expanding the definition of implied malice to By DON COOK, Times Staff Writer GENEVA-The United States and the Soviet Union began negotiations here Monday aimed at limiting intermediate-range nuclear weapons in Europe with "a cordial and businesslike" 90-minute meeting between the two top negotiators, Paul H. Nitze and Yuli A. Kvit-sinsky. The session, held at the Soviet mission, was an informal get-acquainted discussion mainly covering arrangements and procedures for the talks, which may well continue in Geneva for the next two or three years. The first working session of the full delegations, at which opening negotiating positions will be outlined, begins this morning. The two delegation heads reached at least one agreement quickly in their first talk and announced it immediately: The discussions are to be conducted in total I N PEX Astiology Part II METRO Pig 5 Book Review V VIEW 14 Bridge V VIEW 13 Classified VII CLASSIFIED 1-14 Comics V VIEW IS Crossword VII CLASSIFIED 14 DearAbby II METRO 3 Editorials II METRO 6,7 Films VI CALENDAR 1-0 Local News II METRO 1-5,8 Markets IV BUSINESS 1-24 Music VI CALENDAR 1,6 Sports III SPORTS 1-12 Stage VI CALENDAR 3 Tangle Towns V VIEW 14 Things to Do YOU TV-Radio VI CALENDAR 7,8 Weather, Deaths IV 23

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