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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California • Page 22
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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California • Page 22

Los Angeles, California
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MET RO Coo Angclco (Hrnco Editorial Pages Tuesday. IXwmbcr 7. I Van II Schabarum Ends Term as Chairman of Supervisors By BILL BOYARSKY. Timet Cty-County Bureau Chit Pete Schabarum ended his term as chairman of the I aw Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Monday after 12 months of solidifying -tfe conservative programs of the board majority and improving relations with the liberal Democratic Legislature. Those seemingly contradictory accomplishments were mentioned by the West Covina supervisor at a press conference at his Hall of Administration office on his last day as chairman.

Today, the chairmanship will rotate to Schabarum's fellow conservative. Mike Antonovich. who is expected to use his gavel -wielding power to continue the board on its conservative course. earlier this year that ended with the county bring (quired some of the most feared reductions in state aid That marked a sharp difference from the year In-fore, when Schabarum and the other conservatives argui publicly with Democratic litx-rals. particularly in the Assembly, over the board's determination to make sweeping cutbacks in health care, which is partially financed by the stale.

Schabarum praised economizing efforts to turn more county jobs over to private industry, as "a major tool in effectuating dollar savings." It all added up, he said, to "noticeable, tangible and dramatic evidence of a new direction that is coming to the Board of Supervisors." "Thank you for your flattering1 assumptions, all of which are incorrect." Schabarum told reporters, when asked about the rumors. "There is no truth, to my knowledge, of any of the musical chairs enunciated in the rumors." Summing up his year as chairman. Schabarum said he was pleased the board made an attempt to "live within the realities of the time with less resources." Second, he mentioned the "uncommon and very friendly relationship with the legislature, which did not just happen." Schabarum praised his colleagues, the county staff and legislators for taking part in a series of meetings The power to preside, to make news and be the star at some community functions are among the chief duties of the chairman, who has no authority to tell his colleagues what to do. In his year, Schabarum used the newsmaking and ceremonial functions to the maximum, becoming a symbol of a series of economy- and privale-enlerprise-or-lented programs pushed by him. Antonovich and Deane Dana, the third conservative on the powerful, five-member county governing body.

The time spent in the public eye made Schabarum the object of published speculation that he might win a high appointment in the Reagan Administration, possibly as secretary of transportation. Inquiry Fails to Support Charges on San Onofre NRC Says Investigation Found No Evidence That Substandard Welds Were Used at Nuclear Plant 4p By GARY JARLSON. Timet Staff Writer as a welding and quality control engineer. Kent could not be reached for comment on the commission report Monday. However, Billy Garde of -the Washington -based Government Accountability Project, which presented Kent's allegations regarding the Midland, plant to the commission, called the report a "whitewash." One of Mm! Honed' Garde, who described the project as a "whistleblower group and public-interest law firm," said Kent is "one of the most honest and accurate nuclear witnesses we have ever represented." For its part, Bechtel said the commission's findings confirmed an earlier investigation by itself and Edison "that welding at the plant has been performed in full compliance with federal regulations." Bob Dietch, Edison vice president of nuclear engineering and operations, said "I hope that the public, based on seeing the NRC conclusion, would recognize there was no substance to the allegations.

We've built a safe plant." A major portion of Kent's allegations focused on what he claimed was Bechtel's failure to follow American Welding Society code requirements for use of a special type of reinforcing weld on thousands of piping and electrical support beams at San Onofre. Although the society's code does not apply to safety -related systems, Kent claimed that it should because it is the most stringent code available. The commission, however, requires construction firms and designers to use a different code developed by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. A month -long investigation has failed to substantiate charges that substandard welds were used in construction of critical safety systems at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Monday. The federal agency said its inquiryinvolving selective examination of welds at the power plant, review of inspection documents and interviews with workershad turned up no evidence to support allegations by E.

Earl Kent, a former Bechtel Power Corp. quality control engineer. "We have found no construction problems that would indicate any kind of safety problem," said Tom Bishop, branch chief for the commission's regional reactor projects in Walnut Creek. "We found the procedures that are in use by Bechtel were satisfactory, were in accordance with codes and our standards." Built by Bechtel Bechtel Power Corp. was the builder of the plant, which is operated by Southern California Edison, Co.

Kent, who was fired by Bechtel in March, had claimed that "thousands" of substandard welds on pipe and electrical system supports could lead to the failure of cooling water and radioactive water pipe systems at San Onofre and another nuclear plant that Bechtel is constructing in Midland, Mich. Kent had said when he made his charges public in October that he was not offering a prediction, but rather a "probability" he had arrived at based on 40 years of experience in welding, including 17 years Murder Trial in Missing Widow Case Opens Man Is Accused of Killing Wealthy Woman 40 Years His Senior By TED ROHRLICH. Times Staff Writer The male companion to a rich, elderly Los Angeles widow went on trial Monday, charged with murdering her, even though her body has never been found. Thelma Jeanette Gaston. 80.

disappeared from her Rancho Park home on June 28. 1981. Her decades -old practice of acquiring real estate at delinquent tax sales had made her a multimillionaire. However, the only clue to her disappearance was a simple note on her door. It said she had gorie to tend a sick cat.

Lawrence Remsen, her 40-year-old companion, placed that note, a prosecutor charged as Remsen's trial began in Los Angeles Superior Court. It was the opening gambit in his far-flung attempt to conceal the widow's murder, the prosecutor said. Befriended Woman Remsen was stalling for time, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Lewis Wat-nick.

While carrying on her business activities with the aid of a forged power of attorney, Remsen was engaged in an aborted attempt to loot her assets by transferring them to a bank account he had set up in the Cayman Islands, off Florida, before her disappearance was discovered, the prosecutor said. Remsen. a bankrupt carpet salesman who had befriended the widow, killed her within days of her threatening to file a fraud complaint against him with the district attorney's office. Watnick said. She had loaned him money and apparently suspected correctly that he had provided her with phony collateral, the prosecutor said.

$20-Million Fortune Remsen somehow killed her, then disposed of her body, telling her friends, business associates and police not to worry, that she was merely traveling and that he was in regular contact with her, Watnick charged. Remsen's ploy worked for a month before police became suspicious and Remsen fled to Mexico, where he was arrested while attempting to cross back into Texas, the prosecutor said. Watnick outlined a case built entirely of circumstantial evidence to Judge Gordon Ringer, who is presiding at the non-jury trial, and said despite the lack of direct evidence that Gaston is dead, there is "only one reasonable conclusion:" Remsen killed her. Please see WIDOW, Page 6 PENNI GLADSTONE Lm Anftln Turns Lena Home with three war pilots who idolized her Lowell Steward, Bill Ellis and Bill Melton. WWIVs Black Pilots Salute 'Pinup Lena Home Touched Their Lives, Airmen Recall at Fete 1 1 By CHARLES HILLINGER, Times Staff Writer The gray and balding pilots came from all over the country to Beverly Hills to honor their World War II "pinup girl." "She was the sweetheart of the black soldier and black airman, our own pinup girl." said Louis D.

Hill, as he introduced Lena Home. Lena stood up, kissed and embraced the retired colonel and Los Angeles chapter president of the Tuskegee Airmen, the black fighter pilots of the Army Air Corps. Clock Turned Back "I've been waiting 40 years for that," said Hill, a retired Northrop Corp. executive. It was turn-back-the-clock time for the 200 World War II black pilots and 500 of their family members and friends Sunday night in the Beverly Hilton International Ballroom, where Lena was presented with this year's Tuskegee Airman Distinguished Achievement Award.

During World War II, the U.S. had a separate black air force. A $4-million training complex, including a new airfield, was built Principal Charges Minority Bias 14 Students Retake Test After Scores Are Disputed VS. Army Air Fotrw Wartime snapshot of Lena Home, "sweetheart of the black airman," amid knot of admirers during visit to Tuskegee field. By KEITH LOVE, Times Staff Writer 148, sank a Nazi destroyer and strafed convoys.

Thirty -two of the black pilots were shot down and were captured by the Germans, and 66 were killed in combat. And Lena Home was the pin-Pleaae tee LENA, Page 2 at Tuskegee, so that while pilots would not have to be quartered and trained with blacks. Of the 992 black cadets trained as pilots, 450 of them flew combat missions in France, Italy and Germany. They destroyed 260 enemy planes, damaged another Around the Southland When Truck Wouldn't Start, Elvis Gave It Both Barrels just after the Mustang Ranch brothel in Reno had filed for bankruptcy. Sigoloff asserted that one reason so manyx firms have gone under is that they did not invest in new equipment.

Fourteen students at a predominantly Latino high school in East Los Angeles took an advanced placement calculus test by the Educational Testing Service a second time after questions were raised about their high scores. The students and their principal contend that the testing service challenged the results on the exams, which were taken in May, because they came from minority students in a lower -income area. "We think they questioned our scores because they did not believe our students could do so well," Henry Gradillas, Garfield High School principal, said Monday. He said the students scored high because the school had upgraded its calculus program in recent years to include several difficult college textbooks and that the calculus teacher spent numerous extra hours preparing the students for the placement test. Gradillas said the proof that his students earned their high marks was eventually delivered when they retook the calculus exams, with a different set of problems, and scored high again.

Joy Mclntyrc, a spokeswoman for Educational Testing Service, strongly denied that the service's queries were racially motivated. She said that under the service's scoring procedures, the identity of a student is not known to the computers and humans who grade the tests. The service, based in Princeton, N.J., composes the Scholastic Aptitude Test and other tests, grades them and sends the results to colleges considering student applicants. "The people who grade our tests, as well as the computer, have no way of knowing who a student is. where he is from or anv clue to his ethnicity." Mclntyre said.

"The student's name and school are blanked out. There are seven questions under problem solving and a scorer looks at only one question and answer. The other questions and answers are blanked out." However. Mclntyre said that if a scorer raises a question about an answer, that query is then passed along to a test security office. It is at that stage that a student's identity is known to those looking into the matter.

Mclntyre said that if the service's security office finds reason to question a score, the matter is then taken up by a three-member board of review. Any decision to require that test scores be thrown out must be unanimous, Mclntyre said. Mclntyre would not discuss the Garfield High cases specifically, saying it is against the service's policy to do so unless the organization has written releases from the students involved. According to Jaime Escalantc. the students' mathematics teacher.

18 of his students took the calculus placement tests May 19. All 18 passed, he said, and seven of them scored a perfect score of five. Five scored a four. "A few weeks after they took the test, 14 of the students got letters from the ETS saying that there were questions about their work." Escalante said. The other four were not questioned, he said, because they did not have to solve a specific problem that was on the other students' tests.

He said the service wondered why the 14 solved that one problem in exactly the same way. with a graph on the left, the answer on the right and other details. Also PIcmc tee SCORFS, pnr fi Weapon? Station crashed up north, spilling out nine surface-to-air missiles, it was one of the few times that other drivers didn't stop to scoop up some fallen cargo. Signs that a visitor might find curious (on the Harbor Freeway): Catalina Island Use Harbor Boulevard By STEVE HARVEY, Times Staff Writer Here in the collector-car capital of the nation, publicist Joe Molina has witnessed the auction of such jalopies as Howard Hughes' one-toilet Daimler Eva Peron's dual-windshield Packard and Elvis Presley's bullet-riddled Ford pickup truck (price undisclosed). But Molina, who has several auctioneers for clients, says the "Holy Grail for collectors" is the Spider 550 Porsche that actor James Dean was driving when he crashed and died near Paso Robles on Sept.

30,1955. "It (the car) was stolen off a train taking it back East, as I understand it," says Molina. "Just disappeared. One guy here claims to have the transmission in his maroon Porsche. isn't it? He can say he's using the same gearshift James Dean used." Speaking of weird, how did Elvis' truck pick up those bullet holes? "Oh, It wouldn't start one morning, so he pulled out a gun and shot it four times," Molina says.

Then did he phone the Auto Club? When that truck from Seal Beach Naval Last week's storm tore up 11 entries in the 1983 Rose parade, including the La wry 's float, whose magic carpet. Instead of escaping, was bent in half. It was the worst mishap to befall the event since the 1980 parade when the Reno float, "How the West Was Won." caught fire with Miss Nevada on board, strapped to a post. (She escaped.) Officials are confident that the Immobilized carpet and the floats are all salvageable. Any that aren't, though, can always be entered in next year's Doo Dah Parade.

God's Gonna Get You for That and Did: During the recent storm, a downtown worker took one look at the early-moming freeway morass and returned home. She phoned her boss to say tree had fallen on her driveway, blocking her car. A while later, a tree fell on her driveway, blocking her car. Zone" music, please. It was just a coincidence, but Sanford Sigoloff, an expert on bailing out financially troubled companies, spoke In Beverly Hills the other day on how businesses can survive the recession The local Yellow Pages lists Richard M.

Moneymaker as a bankruptcy law specialist..

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