The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California on November 21, 1988 · 18
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The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California · 18

San Francisco, California
Issue Date:
Monday, November 21, 1988
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A-18 Monday, November 21. 1988 SANFRANCISCO EXAMINER KIDNAP from A-l Child's adventure turns to nightmare : girl. ' "We're following up on leads," said Rick Camara of the Hayward t Police Department "Were getting " a lot of calls but nothing solid." Investigators said the best lead they had Monday morning was the fingerprints taken from the recovered scooter. Sharon Garecht, Michaela's mother, says what turned out to be the worst day of her life started out routinely. The mother of four says the family was eating breakfast " ' when Michaela got a call from her best friend, Trina Rodriguez, inviting her to go to the store. 'Only let her go with somebody' "We only started letting her go up to the store last summer," Garecht said Sunday. "I only let her go when she was with somebody." With permission from her "" mother, Michaela walked around ! the corner to Trina's house. Trina hopped on her scooter and lent her brother's scooter to Michaela. "I figured she was safer going on a scooter than going on foot," said Garecht, who describes herself as a protective mother. The girls rode their push scooters two blocks to the neighborhood store to buy candy and sodas. Alicia Sutton, a cashier at the Rainbow Market, says the two friends come in often. "She is really sweet, a cute, timid little girl," said Sutton. "This is a family store. Kids come in here all day long." When Michaela came out of the store, she said to her friend, "Where's my scooter?" A man, with blond, shoulder-length hair and a pocked face said, "It's over here." Michaela walked over to get the scooter. "That's when he grabbed her," her mother said. "He used the scooter as bait." ft; . o' rt 1 " ir m "1 1 . rmy w """JJ r. . f f " I W" I V iK fef " EXAMINER CRAIG LEE Alicia Sutton, cashier at the store where Michaela was abducted, described the child to investigators as 'sweet, a cute, timid little girl' FIRE from A-l 1 Sickouts hurting Fire Department when in fact half the firefighters and a truck would be gone," associ-alion local President Jim Ferguson said. Postel also is considering a plan that would cut one firefighter from each of the The City's 18 ladder trucks. Mayor Agnos earlier this year proposed the elimination of ladder companies and the possibility of closing some fire stations to help ' The City erase a $180 million bud-' get deficit. The plan was dropped . because of loud public protest. The current sickout is only a contributor to the department's on-; going overtime problem. Another factor is the protracted hiring freeze, caused by the job discrimination case in federal court, : that has kept the department 200 ' bodies short of its authorized staffing level of 1,500. As a result there have been fewer junior firefighters I Corrections and f clarifications t It is The Examiner's policy to correct errors. Readers are urged to $ call mistakes to our attention by writing to us at P.O. Box 7260, San Francisco 94120. t A photograph accompanying a F story in The Examiner Sunday f about a case of mistaken identity involving two Korean-Americans named Peter Hyun was taken by Douglass Hyun. Sharon Garecht, mother of kidnapped As a terror-stricken Trina looked on, the man grabbed a screaming Michaela around the waist and dragged her into an old car. Car described as 'ratty' Witnesses described the car as "ratty," faded brown or rusted with splatters of cement or mud along the side. A grief-stricken Sharon Garecht sat in the living room of her modest three-bedroom Hayward home Sunday. "I got no sleep last night," said the tired mother. "At 4 o'clock in the morning my 3-year-old daughter cried out, 'Mommy, come get me.' And I thought, that's what Michaela must be saying. "I want her to know wherever she is, I'm with her in my heart." i "si ' i t5 mam to cover the longer vacation shifts earned by senior firefighters. "When you have people working as much as we do it leads to burn out, plus when you work that much you get injured much more frequently," Postel said. Dr. William Newsom, the department's in-house physician, said much of the absentee problem stems from anxiety over the recent round of court-ordered promotions, which included quotas for women and minorities. "We must have had about 15 or 20 go off because of depression or hostility over not being promoted or being demoted," Newsom said. Most of the firefighters who went off were in their late 40s or early 50s, including some lieutenants who had been demoted. The malaise started in June when the department promoted 22 black officers, 13 Hispanic-Americans, 11 Asian-Americans and 36 whites and demoted 49 temporary lieutenants to their former ranks and salaries, $6,000 a year less. The promotions were part of a court-mandated plan to elevate women and minorities within the predominantly white male department. "We had about 30 or 35 take off for family leaves who should have never been off . . . they wanted to get away from the stations," Newsom said. "There's no question about it (the increase in disability and sick days) has a direct correlation to the promotions " said Terry Smith, a white firefighter who was not promoted. "I can name 10 cases of guys who have gone off on stress. Most i child, with her J '-month-old son, Robbie, in their Hayward home Michaela, the oldest of four children, has two brothers and a ' sister. Holding her 7-month-old son Robbie, Garecht's voice softened, her eyes moistened. "They all played together all the time. ... She's such a good girl. Smart. Bright. "She just heard last week that she is supposed to sing a solo at the school Christmas concert." While she spoke with newspaper and television reporters, her husband, Rod, was out posting signs bearing Michaela's picture. "I've put signs everywhere, automatic teller machines, Burger Kings, telephone booths," Rod Garecht said. "I've even been driving around looking for a car that meets the description." White T-shirt says 'Metro' - Michaela, 4 feet 9 inches tall and weighing 75 pounds, was wearing a white T-shirt with the word "Metro" written across the front. She also had on rolled-up jeans and a single large, white plastic earring resembling feathers. Her light-blond hair is shoulder length, and Saturday it was tied up to one side in a pony tail, her mother said. Representatives of several missing-child organizations have been helping with the search. The parents of Amber Swartz-Garcia, a 7-year-old Pinole girl who disappeared June 3 near her home, and David Collins, father of Kevin Collins, the boy whose kidnapping in San Francisco in 1984 became a national concern, spent Saturday with the Garecht family using their hard-learned expertise to comfort the grieving family. Neither Kevin nor Amber was ever found. Collins said statistics for early return of kidnap victims were in Michaela's favor. "The numbers don't mean much FIRE DEPARTMENT In fiscal years (June 30 to July 1 ) $?7.9 Imillionl 1985-'86 '86-87 Source: S.F. Fire Commission are over 30 and feel that their careers have been thwarted by the (courts) making promotions based solely on what your last name is, your race or your sex," he said. Smith is on the board of directors for the Firefighters Association Local 798, the predominantly white union that has bitterly fought the federal plan aimed at integrating the department Bob Demmons, president of the Black Firefighters Association, agreed that the sickout was rooted in the promotions. Demmons said the department turned a blind eye to the problem out of sympathy for EXAMINER CRAK3 LEE to the family," he said. "And I don't think we can really say what the chances are. We do know most kidnappings are more subtle than a broad-daylight grab like this one . Hayward police have released a composite sketch of the kidnapper. The suspect is described as a white man in his early 20s, with a thin build and shoulder-length, dirty blond hair. Anyone with information about the kidnapping should call the Hayward police at (415) 784-7051. Walt Gibbs of The Examiner staff contributed to this report Amber still missing The East Bay was the site of another recent abduction. Amber Swartz-Garcia, 8, was kidnapped June 3, 1988, while skipping rope in front of her home in Pinole. DESCRIPTION: Amber is 4 feet tall, weighs 60 pounds, has blond hair and blue eyes. At the time of her kidnapping, an upper-right front tooth was missing. She has a severe hearing impairment. INFORMATION: Tips and possible sightings reports are being collected by the Pinole police (724-8950), the Concord office of the FBI (67i-7330) and the recently created Amber Swartz-Garcia Foundation for Missing Children (800-541-0777). OVERTIME COSTS "87-88 '88-89 projected at present rate EXAMINER GRAPHIC the passed-over officers instead of rooting out the problem from the start. Officials from both the Fire Department and the city attorney's office have been tracking the sick leave problem.' Postel has issued an order demanding a doctor's excuse for all sick days. Fire Commissioner Frank Quinn, who has become a regular fixture in fire houses since his appointment to the panel last April, said the change in promotion guidelines came as a tremendous shock to many officers. ( k ' V$12 I ji t p million! . I ?"7 million! f 4'- I f ' i l V l f Sri I m i . IS i I mummm m u iftMMn.i in n nirt i ii or METRO Hayward girl abducttd: Nine-year-old Michaela Garecht of Hayward had just visited the neighborhood market with a friend Saturday Garecht when she was kidnapped by a man who used the , girl's scooter to lure her to him. A-l Hunting a legend: The search for D.B. Cooper, infamous skyjacker, continues with a California man directing the proceedings along the Columbia River in Washington state. A-i ,:" ;-J;,: .' , Firefighters' "flu": Soaring overtime, aggravated by a sickout among veteran firefighters, is costing the San NATION Bush fills three slots: President-elect Bush nominates Richard Darman as budget director and retains Attorney , General Richard Thornburgh and Education Secretary Lauro Cavazos. Meanwhile, sources say Stanford economics professor Michael Boskin will be named chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. A-l : Dallas' day of infamy: The collective wince is a little bit sharper in Dallas this year, as the media focus, on the city where John F. Kennedy was killed 25 years ago. A-l Tornadoes kill 2: Nearly two dozen , WORLD; Death from overwork: Japanese offi cials are worried about an upswing in karoshi, sudden, unexplained deaths by hard-driving but otherwise healthy businessmen. A-l j Canadian election day: What many. Canadians consider their meanest, . most divisive election campaign ever , ends with a vote on relations with the United States. A-2 Failed hostage escape: U.S. hostage Alfmn fiteen esnaned in Lebanon last i. j. j I i I " year uui was lurnea ui uy iieignuors and beaten on his return, Newsweek says. A-2 Recognition for PL0: China and Egypt recognize the newly declared Palestinian state, while Jordan says the United States and Israel now STYLE They sell, you buy: "Penn & Teller" turn the theater itself into a market place of credibility and demon strate how eager we are to swallow their fabrications. B-1 Opera signs: "La Gioconda" doesn't need supertitles. The San Francisco Opera's performance is a story that needs no introduction. B-l Couture criticism: The British editor of Harper's, Nicholas Coleridge, used his pen for a sword to slice up the neurotic fashion industry in his new book, "The Fashion Conspiracy." SPORTS Make or break?: Monday night's game at Candlestick Park between the 49ers and Washington Redskins is important for both teams, but coach Bill Walsh says the season won't end because of a defeat. C-l Turnaround Bowl: A game between the 49ers and Redskins in 1981 was critical in turning around the fortunes of both teams. C-l Art Spanden It may be time to ponder the notion that the 49ers' era of dominance is coming to an end. C-1 BUSINESS Low profile: The two San Francisco residents who run Todd-AO maintain an extremely low business pro- file.tD-i Art or advertising: When Berkeley artist David Lance Goines creates a painting for the LU cookie and biscuit company, it's good advertising as well as art. D-l Dollar down: The dollar retreated, reacting to statements by President elect Bush that he won't raise taxes DEAS Editorial: Marin and the Lucas enter prises need each other. A -16 John Dvorak: New Age airheads violating his, like, space. A-l 7 '4 ' 4 ' Francisco Fire Department millions of dollars and may result in service cuts by year's end. A-J Death-row survivor: Convicted killer Robert Lee Massie, who has survived five execution dates in 11 years, is being retried for the 1979 murder of an S J", liquor-store owner. A-fl Redevelopment contest An empty Fillmore District block is the $4 mil-t lion prize in San Francisco's hottest development contest in years. A-4 Quilt panelist Betty Coffin of San Francisco considers her work for the f Names Project quilt a labor of love. tA-5 ;;. Bridge bricks: The brick walk in the . gardens at the Golden Gate Bridge - began with 800 bricks and has been filling up at the rate of 700 or 800 a month. A-6 tornadoes slash across parts of the South, killing at least two people in Mississippi and destroying scores of ' homes.A-9 ' Wedtech indictment Rep. Robert Garcia, D-N.Y., becomes the second U.S. congressman to be indicted in the Wedtech corruption scandal but vows to fight the charges "with all of my God-given strength." A -9 Say howdy: President Reagan, President-elect Bush and ex-President Jimmy Carter join in World Hello Day the day you give a friendly greeting to 10 strangers. A-9 stand in the way of peace. A-2 Aquino marks 1,000th day: In a speech marking her . 1,000th day in office, Philippine President Corazon Aquino lists the accomplishments but offers little in the way of goals for the remainder of her term. A-10 Iiauvft IIVWIJ. Benazir Bhutto's opposition party squeaks to ' victory in elections for three provincial assemblies, but she remains confident of be- Bhutto coming prime minister. A-ll B-l Play or TV pilot?: Wendy Wasser-stein's "Isn't It Romantic,'' a comedy about women choosing between marriage and careers, has its charms but is finally undone because its characters are like those of TV sitcoms. B-3 Vampire saga: Anne Rice's cast of vampires has risen from the dead once more in "Queen of the Damned," which is No. 1 on the New York Times best seller list B-3 Setting and spiking: Stanford's women's volleyball team is having another banner year, ranked second in the nation, but failure to beat UCLA has coach and players frustrated. C-l Outmuscled: Indiana demonstrated its strength on tne boards in posting an 84-73 victory over Stanford to oust the Cardinal from the National Invitation Tournament in Blooming-ton, Ind. C-l to reduce the budget D-l Awaiting the outcome: California's hopes for boosting exports of wine and high-tech computer and electronic products are riding on the outcome of Canada's electioa D-l New Nabisco offer RJR Nabisco Inc's stock surged after directors extended the record-sized auction for the company and disclosed they had received one tentative offer possibly for more than $26 billioa D-l Guy Wright Corporate raiders endanger U.S. economic health. A-l 7 Emmett Tyrrell: Reagan should pardon North, fire Walsh. A-17 r ; ! W - - i ,- 1 1jrV

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