Albany Democrat-Herald from Albany, Oregon on January 4, 1991 · 5
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Albany Democrat-Herald from Albany, Oregon · 5

Albany, Oregon
Issue Date:
Friday, January 4, 1991
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OREGONNORTHWEST ALBANY (OR.) DEMOCRAT-HERALD, FRIDAY, JAN. 4, 1991 5 BsagjaBiniv PORTLAND (AP)-A Multnomah County district Judge facing sanctions for being married to two women at the same time has resigned. Robert L Kirkman, 46, notified the Oregon Supreme Court Thursday he will step down Jan. 31. He also asked the court to remove from its docket a Tuesday hearing over proposed disciplinary sanctions against him. Kirk man's lawyer, Garr M. King, said a formal letter of resignation would be submitted to Gov. Neil Goldschmidt before the Tuesday hearing. "Judge Kirkman feels he could continue to competently perform his judicial functions," King said, "but under the circumstances he feels it is in his best interest to resign." The judge was the subject of three investigations last year after it became known he was married to two women in 1987. Kirkman allegedly persuaded the second woman to marry him by showing her a forged divorce decree. The case came to public attention in a story last Sar by columnist Phil Stanford of The Oregonian. judge's marital difficulties surfaced after he promised to marry a third woman. The first investigation, conducted by the Multnomah County district attorney's office, concluded that Kirkman had committed three crimes from 19M to 1967. But District Attorney Michael D. Schrunk said the statute of limitations had run out on all three crimes and they were too old to prosecute. The crimes, according to the report, were bigamy, forgery and unsworn falsification. The falsification charge stemmed from Kirkman's statement on his second application for a marriage license that he was not married. Schrunk turned over his records to the Oregon Judicial Fitness Commission, which conducted its own investigation. The commmission recommended Oct. 24 that Kirkman be removed from judicial office. As a result, the state Supreme Court suspended Kirkman from judicial duties, with pay, until his case was resolved. The suspension was eilective Oct. 23. The third investigation involves the Oregon State Bar, which examines allegations of unethical conduct involving Oregon lawyers. Rick Griebel. a bar spokesman, said a formal complaint had been issued against Kirkman and that a three-member trial panel was being selected to hear the case. A hearing date has not been set. The bar's investigation could lead to a recommendation that Kirkman's license to practice law be suspended or revoked by the state Srprcme Court. The fitness commission said Kirkman's conduct of his personal life had "brought discredit to himself and to the judicial system." "Over a long period of time he was guilty of dishonesty, lying, criminal behavior and disregard for the high standards and oath of office," the commission added. The commission noted, however, that no complaints had been received about his work as a judge. Battery recycler C0UTt fllleS Oil Wiret ap evidence gets record fine PORTLAND (AP) - The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has fined a battery recycler a record $3,600 for alleged violations of hazardous materials regulations. DEQ Director Fred Hansen said he was prepared to assess additional fines if Environmental Pacific Corp. fails to take immediate action to clean up its two-block plant in Amity. The plant opened five years ago in the Willamette Valley agricultural community of 1.000 residents. Richard W. Hill, president of Environmental Pacific, said Thursday that lawyers would advise him in about 10 days whether to appeal or pay the civil penalty. The company recycles batteries from around the country. It was cited by DEQ shortly after it opened five years ago and was fined by the State Accident Insurance Fund, or SAIF, in 1986 after three employees showed signs of mercury poisoning. The Environmental Pacific fine is the largest ever assessed in DEQ's hazardous materials section. SALEM (AP) - Evidence obtained by telephone wiretaps can't be used against two people accused of murder and arson in a 19B6 tavern fire in Elgin, the Oregon Supreme Court said Thursday. The court, unanimously upholding the Oregon Court of Appeals, said authorities didn't adequately show a need for the court -ordered wiretaps. In another decision, the Supreme Court reinstated four drug convictions that had been contested on grounds that aerial searches by police violated constitutionalrights. The wiretap ruling sends the case back to the L'mon County Circuit Court, where it has been in the pretrial stage for nearly five years. The charges stem from a Jan. 27, 19H6, explosion and fire at Odie's Cafe and Bronco Room in the northeastern Oregon town. Clarence Witty, who lived in an apartment in a building adjacent to the tavern, died in the blaze. The defendants are Michael John Lassen, who was buying the tavern, and Kathleen Stockfleth, the seller and to whom Lassen was behind in his payments. Lassen had increased an insurance policy following a 1965 fire at the tavern. The new policy was to lapse on Feb 1, 19B6. Besides felony murder and arson. Stockfleth and Lassen also are accused of theft, attempted theft, conspiracy to commit arson and conspiracy to commit theft. Authorities obtained two orders to wiretap Lassen's telephone He and Stockfleth were indicted by a grand jury in March 1986. The Supreme Court said investigators didn't sufficiently meet requirements of a state law that says they must show wiretaps are needed because normal investigative techniques had been tried and failed. "We conclude that the first wiretap order was not supported by the requisite showing of necessity and that the second wiretap order was issued mvalidly as a result of the first defective order," the court said in an opinion by Justice Susan Graber. She said the application for the first wiretap order mentioned several traditional investigative techniques that wert planned but hadn't yet been earned out, including search warrants and interview of witnesses The Supreme Court paved the way for its aerial search decision in a precedent setting ruling Nov. 26 when the justices said a police flyover of property doesn't amount to an unreasonable search. One case dealt with Thursday involved Bill and Janet Gohr-ing, ho were convicted of manufacturing a controlled substance after officers spotted marijuana on their Raker County land on Sept. 30, 1W7. The same fly -over led to Dawn Session's conviction of manufacturing and possessing marijuana. In the other case. Harry Viar was found guilty of manufacturing and delivering marijuana after police in a helicopter spotted plants on his Coos County property in the summer of 1987. Group appeals sales of fire salvage timber BEND (AP) - The Oregon Natural Resources Council is appealing a plan to sell a huge volume of umber burned by forest fires last summer in the Prineville-based Ochoco National Forest. The group also is planning to appeal a second major fire salvage sale. Together, the two appeals could tie up timber sales totaling 77 million board feet - equal to 67 percent of the Ochoco National Forest's annual timber sale volume. "Basically, we view logging after a fire as mugging a bum victim, ' ONRC spokesman Wendell Wood said in Eugene. "That area is already severely stressed." Wood said the ONRC appealed 55 million board feet of timber sales covered bv the Pine Springs Fire Recovery Environmental Assessment on grounds that the sales would eliminate thermal cow for deer in violation of agency standards. Thermal cover refers to trees and brush used by big game animals for shelter during the cola of winter and heat of summer. He said the U.S. Forest Service also has failed to survey the timber sale areas for threatened or endangered species before allowing logging to begin. The ONRC raises the same concerns in a forthcoming appeal of 22 million board feet of timber sales covered by the Buck Springs Fire Recovery Environmental Assessment, Wood said. All the timber sales covered by the two environmental assessment documents involve trees killed last summer after fires raced across 95.000 acres of the Snow Mountain District of the Ochoco National Forest, an area on the far eastern edge of the forest. The Forest Service moved quickly to put together salvage logging plans after the fires because trees killed by flames rapidly lose their value to sawmills. A blue stain fungus discolors the wood of pine trees within about a year after they die. But acting Ochoco National Forest Supervisor Chuck Downen said the Forest Service also tried to be environmentally sensitive with its plans. Among the steps taken were requiring helicopter logging in some areas, re-f quiring logging on frozen ground to minimize soil disturbance and retaining numerous standing dead trees, or snap, as habitat for cavity-nesting birds. "We did so many things out there that it's obvious they haven't been on the ground to see what we're doing," Downen said. 'They haveot visited the site or anything, and theytiave some things in (the appeal) that don't apply it all." He said the agency attempted to involve the ONRC in planning the salvage sales, but no representative of the group was available. "We had a field trip planned and they never showed up," he said. He said most of the sales covered by the two environmental assessments already have been sold to sawmill companies in Bend. Burns and Prineville, and some of them already are being logged. Normally, the Forest Service waits until the appeal period for a sale has ended before putting timber up for auction. But the agency accelerated that process for the salvage sales to avoid blue stain fungus damage and ensure that logging was done on frozen ground, Downen said. That explanation did not satisfy Wood, who was angry that the agency allowed loggers to begin cutting trees before the public was able to review timber sale plans. "It kind of makes a joke of the compliance with multiple-use laws," he said. Wood said the ONRC has been Involved for years in land management planning for the Ochoco National Forest and has made its positions clear even if it failed to participate in planning these particular salvage sales. "They know what our interests are and they can predict that when they plan 55 million-board foot timber sales under an environmental assessment instead of an environmental impact statement, they are going to get an appeal," Wood said. "It's going to happen every time.' Mount Hood forest plan cuts timber sales by half PORTLAND (AP) - A federal management plan proposes cutting the average annual Umber sale in the Mount Hood National Forest bv half. "Based on what the public told us, we feel our plan provides the best balance of uses, forest supervisor Mike Edr-ington said Thursday. The Forest Service received more than 5,000 public comments to its draft environmental impact statement after it was released in 1968. But the head of a conservation group that studied the draft statement says the final version of the management plan doesn't go far enough. "It's not quite what an environmentalist would like to see," said David Cor-kran, a Portland teacher who led the Mount Hood Study Group. "It does make things better," he said, "but there arc real questions about the intensity of management." A Umber industry spokesman said the plan will cost jobs. Jim Geismger, president of the Northwest Forestry Association, said the forest now supports seven sawmills but the plan will cut that back to three He said the new plan "reflects a bias I gainst umber management and local Umber -dependent communities " The Mount Hood plan is the last of It Oregon and Washington national forest plans to be completed since the National Forest Management Act was passed in 1976. Rick Brown, who left his job with the Mount Hood forest to work for the Portland office of the National Wildlife Federation, said the management plan was based on "woefully out-of date" habitat information. Brown said the Forest Service had designated much of the acreage on Mount Hood as reduced yield, based on exaggerated expectations of full yield Umber harvests in other areas. Through fertilization and other methods, the Forest Service expects future growth to mature faster than a normal forest, he said Ednngton said the forest provides a variety of things to the state, including timber, water, recreation and a scenic backdrop "The Mount Hood National Forest is important to the people of Oregon." Ednngton said Highlights of the 10- to 15-year management plan released Thursday include: -An average annual timber sale volume of 189 million board feet, compared to a historical average of 368 million board feet. -Protection of about 255,000 acres of old growth trees -IrotecUon and restoration of the scenic quality of the forest o:f it .. .4! fe (hm i.. SI. mi Circuit Tf . A A Treat your favorite shoes to a tune-up. Repair worn heelt Replace suede r iirvert Rebuild & teal cork Replace worn aolea Wt of a C0"npt, to-howM Btrkttock rppf ft ro 'vie Gift Certificate! 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